04 January 2014

World Braille Day


4th January – World Braille Day

Today is 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. This Post is a tribute to Lois Braille, the angel to millions and millions of visually impaired persons in The world !!

image  image

Braille - a code used by the visually impaired worldwide

Braille is a code that uses bumps and indentation on a surface to represent alphabets and letters and 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 Haüy 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 an alphabet, 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.


image   image

Louis Braille (4 Jan 1809 – 6 Jan 1852 ) Louis Braille is credited with inventing the Braille language which helps blind people to read as well as write.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.

image image

The language developed by 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.

image image

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.

image image image

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.

image image  image 

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.

  image image

The 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.


No comments:

Related Posts with Thumbnails