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World Braille Day is an international day, celebrated on January 4th, every year. The day aims to raise awareness about the means of communication for the blind community and partial-sighted people – Braille. The day also highlights human rights in the lives of blind and partial-sighted people. 

Braille language was invented by the French scientist, named Louis Braille, especially for blind people. Scientist invented the language to help visually impaired people to read and learn. The language is now accepted globally as the universal language for blinds. 

To honour the scientist and this magnificent invention, Louis Braille’s birthday is celebrated as World Braille Day. Louis Braille was born on January 4, 1809, in France. Braille was blinded in one eye when he was three years old as a consequence of an accident with a sewing awl. As a result, an infection set in and spread to both eyes, causing complete blindness. Even though there were few resources for the blind at the time, he excelled in school and was awarded a scholarship at France's Royal Institute for Blind Youth. As a student, he began working on a tactile coding system that would allow blind individuals to read and write more rapidly and effectively. Inspired by Charles Barbier's approach, Braille developed a new method that was more compact and suited to a variety of applications, including music. He gave a presentation to his peers on his work, for the first time in 1824. 

For the first time, the day was celebrated on January 4, 2019. 

What is Braille?

According to the UN’s official website, Braille is a tactile representation of alphabetic and numerical symbols using six dots to represent each letter and number, and even musical, mathematical and scientific symbols. Braille is used by blind and partially sighted people to read the same books and periodicals as those printed in a visual font.

Braille is essential in the context of education, freedom of expression and opinion, as well as social inclusion, as reflected in article 2 of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

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