Did you know that 4th January is World Braille Day? It celebrates the birth of Louis Braille, inventor of the reading and writing system used by millions of blind and partially sighted people around the world.
Louie Braille was born in France in 1809. He was blinded in both eyes as a child, in an accident, but was a strong character and mastered his disability at a young age. He managed to excel in education and went on to study at France’s Royal Institute for Blind Youth. During his studies, he developed a tactile code that could allow blind people to read and write more efficiently. Braille was just 15 years old when he presented his work to his peers.
Thanks to Braille, books were then able to be produced on a large scale to provide reading material for the blind and allow them to continue alongside their peers in education, and read for pleasure. And because it’s a code made up of groups of 6 dots, rather than its own language, it can be used in every country around the world.
World Braille Day is celebrated in many countries and communities as a great achievement. Today in the UK there are several charities working hard to provide support for the blind, and many of them have their own fundraising days and events that take place throughout the year.
The charity Royal Blind, Scotlands largest visual impairment organisation, raises support and awareness through National Blind Week .This year’s National Blind Week will run from 20 – 26 February. Visit their website here to learn more about the charity and take part in their All Eyes On You challenge.