In honor of World Braille Day, celebrated on January 4th, we’d like to share a brief history and a few fun facts about the man who invented the braille communication system.
Louis Braille was a Frenchman who lost his eyesight as a child when he accidentally stabbed himself in the eye with his father’s awl. From the age of 10, he spent time at the Royal Institute for Blind Youth in France, where he formulated and perfected the system of raised dots that eventually became known as Braille.
Braille completed his work, developing a code based on cells with six dots, making it possible for a fingertip to feel the entire cell unit with one touch and moving quickly from one cell to the next. Eventually, Braille slowly came to be accepted throughout the world as the main form of written information for blind people. Unfortunately, he didn’t have the opportunity to see how useful his invention had become. He died in 1852 at just forty-three, after a long battle with a respiratory condition (believed to be tuberculosis). Just two years, his language system was finally adopted by the Royal Institute for the Blind, thanks to overwhelming demand from its students.
Braille’s marvelous aid opened up a world of accessibility to the blind and visually impaired, and was recognized by the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA). In November 2018, January 4 was declared World Braille Day. The first-ever World Braille Day was commemorated the following year and it is celebrated as an international holiday.
Want to know more? Here are a few facts about Braille that you might not know about:
Happy birthday to Louis Braille! To celebrate World Braille Day with us, let’s honor the amazing gift of communication he left as his legacy and help raise awareness for individuals who are blind and visually impaired.