World Braille Day

The 4th of January is World Braille Day, as it is the birthday of Louis Braille, the Frenchman who invented the code in 1821. Braille helps to provide equal opportunity for many blind people worldwide.

Louis Braille was born in France. At the age of 3, he accidentally became blind. However, he had a great yearning to be able to read and write properly, despite his disability. An attentive kid at school, at the age of 15, he developed a set of symbols by making raised dots on a piece of paper. The dots could be easily felt by hand, thus enabling even the blind to feel them and hence, read and write.

The language developed y Louis Braille is today known as the Braille language. Louis’s work was not only confined to alphabets. He was passionate about music too, and thus, in the latter part of his life, he even developed Braille language for music. While developing the language for music, he made a point to keep it flexible so that it could be adapted to almost any musical instrument around the world.

Although the system was very useful for those with visual impairment, it was only 2 years after Louis’s death in 1854 that the system was adopted by his school. Soon after its adoption, it grew very popular in the rest of France. The penetration of the system in other countries was quite slow.

The World Braille Day is celebrated every year to recognize the efforts of Louis Braille. His simple yet effective invention made it possible for blind people to read and write. The World Braille Day is relatively a little known occasion. However, for individuals working for the blind, it is a day of great significance.

There is no public holiday as such in any part of the world on this day. Various NGOs as well as other organizations come together on this day to raise awareness about the apathy towards blind people and to help them be equal with the rest of the people.

Various competitions are organized across cities specifically for the blind. Awareness is also raised about the new technologies coming in the field of Braille language on this day. For example, in the earlier days, a special type of typewriter had to be used in order to write Braille language. Now a days, computers are also equipped to do the job. The World Braille Day is taken as an opportunity by various organizations and philanthropic individuals around the world to help the blind out there.