What is World Braille Day?

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World Braille Day and Braille Works logo

Get ready; it’s time to celebrate World Braille Day! I’m sure you can guess that it’s a day to celebrate braille. But, you may wonder what it’s all about and why it’s worth celebrating. Well, let’s talk about that so we can spread the word and invite more people to celebrate!

What is it?

We celebrate World Braille Day every year on January 4th because it’s Louis Braille’s birthday. He’s the inventor of braille! Louis was born in 1809 in France and became blind after a childhood accident. But he quickly mastered his new way of living. When Louis was only 15 years old, he created a reading and writing system based on Charles Barbier’s night writing system. We know Louis’ system today as braille. Adjusted over time, braille is now easier to read and used worldwide!

two hands scanning over a braille book

Why is it worth celebrating?

World Braille Day is a reminder of the importance of accessibility and independence for people who are blind or visually impaired.

Today’s reality is that many establishments, such as restaurants, banks, and hospitals, don’t offer braille versions of their print materials like menus, statements, and bills. Because of this, people with blindness or visual impairments often don’t have the freedom to choose a meal on their own or keep their finances private.

This day spreads awareness about braille and other accessible forms of communication. Everyone deserves (and is legally entitled to) the same accommodations and services, regardless of ability. Let’s remember that and do our part to make our workplaces more accessible for everyone.

Why choose braille over another accessible format?

Braille is often a preferred method for reading certain documents.

For example, having a menu to read on one’s own allows braille readers to participate in conversations while browsing food options. Also, having a braille bank statement to review — and reread when there’s a potential discrepancy — provides convenience that other accessible formats don’t offer.

Every individual will indeed have their accessible format preference, but braille seems to win over others in many cases.

Celebrate braille literacy

Braille literacy is also an important factor in equal opportunities for people with blindness.

Today, Rubix cubes, watches, lego-style bricks, and other innovations are constantly changing how we use braille and help increase braille literacy, too. That’s why you’ll find braille on objects you use every day — signs, ATMs, elevators, calculators, and more. It’s all thanks to Louis Braille and the schools that adopted and taught his reading and writing system.

Happy World Braille Day!

Celebrate with us and raise awareness by offering your documents in accessible formats like braille!

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