World Braille Day is a day dedicated to creating awareness about the challenges faced by visually impaired individuals and to encourage businesses and governments to create economic and social opportunities for blind people.
On this day – 4th January, we celebrate World Braille Day, because it’s Louis Braille’s birthday. He’s the inventor of braille! Born in 1809 in France, Louis became blind after a childhood accident. But, he quickly mastered his new way of living. When Louis was only 15 years old, he created a reading and writing system based on Charles Barbier’s night writing system. We now know this system as braille. When Louis died in 1852, he, unfortunately, hadn’t seen just how helpful his invention became. Just two years later – in 1854 – his alma mater, France’s Royal Institute for the Blind Youth, adopted a braille curriculum. Adjusted over time, braille is now easier to read and used all over the world.
World Braille Day is a reminder of the importance of accessibility and independence for people who are blind or visually impaired. Today’s reality is that many establishments such as restaurants, banks, and hospitals don’t offer braille versions of their print materials like menus, statements, and bills. Because of this, people with blindness or visual impairments often don’t have the freedom to choose a meal on their own or keep their finances private.
This day spreads awareness about braille and other accessible forms of communication. Everyone deserves (and is legally entitled to) the same accommodations and service, regardless of ability.