World Braille Day is an international day on 4 January and celebrates awareness of the importance of braille as a means of communication in the full realization of the human rights for blind and visually impaired people.
The date for the event was chosen by the United Nations General Assembly via a proclamation in November 2018, and marks the birthday of Louis Braille, creator of this writing system. The first World Braille Day was celebrated on January 4, 2019.
Louis Braille (4 January 1809 – 6 January 1852) was a French educator and inventor of a system of reading and writing for use by the blind or visually impaired. His system remains virtually unchanged to this day, and is known worldwide simply as braille.
Blinded at the age of three in one eye as a result of an accident with a Stitching awl in his father’s harness making shop, an infection set in and spread to both eyes, resulting in total blindness. He excelled in his education and received a scholarship to France’s Royal Institute for Blind Youth. While still a student there, he began developing a system of tactile code that could allow blind people to read and write quickly and efficiently. Inspired by the military cryptography of Charles Barbier, Braille constructed a new method built specifically for the needs of the blind. He presented his work to his peers for the first time in 1824.
In adulthood, Louis Braille served as a professor at the Institute and had an avocation as a musician, but he largely spent the remainder of his life refining and extending his system. It went unused by most educators for many years after his death, but posterity has recognized braille as a revolutionary invention, and it has been adapted for use in languages worldwide.