World Braille Day: The amazing story behind the inventor, Louis Braille
World Braille Day is observed every year on January 4, and is the birth anniversary of Braille inventor, Louis Braille. On this day he is remembered for all the contributions he made in helping blind people to read and write. All over the world, activities which create awareness about the various challenges that blind people face are held.
Companies and governments are encouraged to create more opportunities, both social and economic for those who are visually impaired. Various competitions are also held along with public outreach programmes. In schools, teachers explain to the students the significance and importance of the day.
Braille is a code which represents letters that can be recognised by visually impaired individuals by their sense of touch. It was invented by Louis Braille, a French man, who became blind at a young age because of an accident. Due to the accident, Louis was blinded in both eyes,but went on to be a great student and received a scholarship to France’s Royal Institute for Blind Youth.
During his time as a student there, he started to develop a system which helped blind people read and write more easily. It was in 1824 when he presented his system for the first time. As an adult, he was a professor at the institute,but most of his time was spent in further improving the Braille language. For many years till after his death, the language was not utilized, but future generations realised how revolutionary his system was.
Before the invention of this system, blind individuals read and wrote using the Haüy system, in which there were embossed Latin letters on thick paper. This system was complicated and require a lot of training. Also, using this method people could only read, not write.