4th January: World Braille Day
World Braille Day is annually celebrated on January 4, the birthday of Braille inventor, Louis Braille. The day recognizes the contributions of Louis Braille in helping blind and visually impaired people to read and write.
About World Braille DayThe World Braille Day in 2009 marked the 200th birthday anniversary of Louis Braille. It was celebrated around the world, including that in France, where a special exhibition was organized in a museum dedicated to Louis Braille. In India, Belgium as well as Italy, special coins were released with the image of Louis Braille.
What is Braille?
Braille is a code that uses bumps and indentation on a surface to represent letters, which can be recognized by touch. Louis Braille, a French man who was blinded in an accident at a very young age, invented it.
Before Braille invented this form of communication; visually impaired people read and wrote using the HaÃ¼y system which embossed Latin letters on thick paper or leather. This was a complicated system that required much training and only allowed people to read, not write. Discouraged by this, Braille at the age of 15 invented the Braille code.
While there are now several different versions of Braille, Louis Braille’s code was arranged in small rectangular blocks called cells with raised dots in a 3 x 2 pattern. Each cell represented a letter, number or punctuation.
Since Braille is a code, all languages and even certain subjects like mathematics, music and computer programming can be read and written in braille.