World Braille Day

World Braille Day Quick Facts - US

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2024 DateJanuary 4, 2024
2025 DateJanuary 4, 2025

World Braille Day

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World Braille Day is observed globally, honoring the contribution of Louis Braille, inventor of the Braille language that affords visually impaired people the independence of literacy. This day recognizes the significance of accessibility and independence for people who are blind or visually impaired. It provides a platform for discussions about standardizing and promoting the usage of Braille language, thereby enabling blind and partially sighted individuals to fully participate in society.

World Braille Day traces back to the birth of Louis Braille on January 4, 1809. Born in France, Louis, who had lost his sight as a child, created the Braille system which revolutionized the way blind people could learn and communicate. In America, World Braille Day holds special significance, as it serves to raise awareness about guiding principles of equality, dignity, and equal opportunity for people with disabilities. It also ranks as an opportunity to motivate changes to ensure Braille equipment and education are accessible for visually impaired individuals in the United States.

Typical observances in America on World Braille Day include organization of awareness programs emphasizing the importance of Braille for educational development and literacy, and advocacy campaigns aiming at increased funding and policy provisions for Braille education. Schools, libraries and institutions also participate actively, hosting learning and interactive Braille coding workshops. This day is traditionally observed each year in America on January 4th, marking Louis Braille's birthdate, thereby acknowledging his invaluable contribution to creating a more inclusive society.

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Facts about World Braille Day

  • It is a myth that Braille is a language. It is actually a code that can be adapted to almost any alphabet-based orthography, or other system relating to writing.
  • According to the CDC, about 12 million people over the age of 40 in the United States are affected by vision impairment.
  • According to Perkins School for the Blind, braille started as out as a military code called night writing in the US. It was developed in 1819 by the French army as a tool of communication at night. During his schooling days, Louis Braille learned the code and improved it, making it more efficient and streamlined. His improvements would lead to the modern version of braille used today.
  • According to the Chicago Lighthouse, there is a special braille code for math called the Nemeth code. It was developed in 1952 by Abraham Nemeth as a tool for the blind. Individuals can use it to write math problems and solve complex equations.

Top things to do in the US for World Braille Day

  • Explore Writing Peace, an informative manual that allows you to discover contemporary writings by introducing you to various languages. Braille is one of them featured in the manual. Learn more about its history and how it is used.
  • Donate to reputable charities or organizations that help support the blind such as the American Foundation for the Blind.
  • Watch a movie depicting blindness to better your empathy and understanding for the blind. Here are our suggestions:
    Julia's Eye's (2010)
    Love and Honor (2007)
    Book of Eli (2002)

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