Every year January 4th is celebrated as World Braille Day to bring attention and care to visually impaired people. January 4th is the birthday of Louis Braille, who is the inventor of Braille.
The story of the invention of braille was quite shocking. At the age of 3, Louis was blinded by an unfortunate incident. When he reached the age of 15, he invented Braille for the blind and partially sighted. It is also based on a writing system developed by Charles Barbier.
Over the years, braille has improved to become easier and better. And it changed the lives of many and became more relevant worldwide.
About World Braille Day
Louis Braille states that access to communication in the broadest sense is access to knowledge, which is vital if we are not to be scorned or condescendingly patronized by sighted people. We don't need pity, nor do we need to be reminded that we are vulnerable and should be treated as equals - and communication is how we can achieve this.
According toWorld Health Organisation, about 40 million people worldwide are blind and about 250 million have a partial disability. His aim was to reduce the problems faced by the blind and to gather solutions for them.
Blindness or low vision is increasing as the world's population ages. Although the World Health Organization points out that up to80% of visionworldwide can be prevented with better access to treatment.
In November 2018, the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) officially approved World Braille Day. And since then, World Braille Day has been celebrated every year on this date. The date was officially set to raise and spread awareness of braille and why communication is vital for a blind or visually impaired person.
Related: Vision Wellness - Maintaining eye health at work
Five fun facts you should know about Braille
Braille code for almost every language is used in almost every country worldwide.
The invention of braille has an interesting history. Louis Braille pierced his eye with an awl, which led to a severe infection that eventually left him blind. Ironically, a drill is similar to the stylus, a tool used today to emboss braille by hand.
Sant'Elmo Castle, which is a popular tourist attraction, overlooks the Italian city of Naples. The visual installation was by Paolo Puddu entitled "Follow the Shape", a braille relief handrail that includes a poetic version.
Today, toys are also available in braille, including a Rubik's Cube, UNO and LEGOs.
Braille typewriter is different from standard typewriters. Brailles have six keys associated with the six dots of each braille cell, including the spacebar, the enter key, and the space bar.
Ways your workplace can celebrate the upcoming World Braille Day
Here are 5 right actions you can take for the upcoming World Braille Day 2022,
1. Organize free eye check campaigns
Eye health should be prioritized by having an annual eye health checkup. World Braille Day provides an opportunity for organizations to express concern and raise awareness of the issues facing the blind.
It is important to detect eye diseases early and to preserve vision. Employers can ensure technological safety measures to reduce eye injuries and protect against infections or direct exposure to excessive screen time by providing protective glasses etc.
2. Celebrate a day at a school for the blind
What could be better to celebrate this day among the people who need us? Sometimes, we need to spread love, compassion and hope to live a good life to ourselves and others, no matter how busy our schedule is.
This World Braille Day, you can organize a visit to a school for the blind to show your support and concern and help them in any way you can. It will help increase awareness and goodwill throughout the community.
Along with this, your organization will experience a greater vision of common interest, teamwork and productivity towards a common goal.
3. Initiate new policies to recruit people and provide them with opportunities
The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA) states that it is illegal to discriminate against a qualified person with a disability, such as blindness or low vision (B/LV).
Visually impaired people are also highly motivated people. And, giving them the right platform and opportunity will break the stereotype of the workplace. They bring the infinite potential to overcome personal and professional challenges and succeed. And, hiring someone enthusiastic as well can always be a good option.
Also, spread and highlight general information on social media platforms about the importance of continuing to generate job opportunities in Braille as well.
4. Health and wellness literacy
The definition of Health and Wellness Literacy goes on to be "the ability to acquire, process, and understand basic health information and services needed to make appropriate health decisions."
The concept of wellness is not limited to physical well-being but also mental awareness. People of the 21st century today are more concerned withlifestyle choicesthan anything else. And, living a good life is not just about exercising regularly but also eating well, being healthy, etc.
Organize an eye health counseling session for your employees to inform them about things related to their eye conditions.
To maintain good eye health, it is also necessary to take measures such as:
- Eating a balanced diet and organic food
- Maintaining a healthy weight
- Exercise regularly
- Wearing sunglasses and goggles
- Avoiding first and second hand smoke
- Knowing your family medical health history
- Knowing the visual health risk factors
Reading: Health behavior: 6 measures to enhance employee well-being
5. Volunteer Events
Volunteering is fun! And, what better opportunity than volunteering this World Braille Day?
So if you're planning to organize or volunteer for an event this World Braille Day, let your employees volunteer and get started. You can also partner with non-profit organizations to do this. With the help of a non-profit organization, you can make a successful event together with your team.
Hold events like games, talent hunt shows, etc., and spread the word. You can also provide gifts to people you know from your family or work life. Here are some gift suggestions.
- Object tracking
- Board games
- Smart watches
- Beep Balls – For Baseball and other sports
- Color recognition
- kitchen Scale
- Braille children's books
- Audio streaming subscriptions
Spread love and joy to the community and make them feel worthy with your generosity and volunteer initiatives.
Advice for employers
According to the CDC, 2000 workers in the US suffer from eye-related conditions that require immediate medical attention. When it comes to looking after the health and well-being of employees, organizations should not ignore the well-being of their eyes.
Workers experience severe headaches, computer vision syndrome and intense fatigue due to prolonged exposure to digital screens. But, this can be avoided with the right measures and awareness.
Here are some suggestions;
- Encourage and allow employees to take a regular break between work.
- Apply biophilic design concepts to the workplace.
- Maintain a recreation center for employeesreading, play and relax during breaks.
- Provide free eye screening facilities.
- Prioritize overall well-being using a comprehensive employee wellness platform.
- Have a vision wellness check in the workplace.
Read also: 5 Benefits of digital wellness for employees and workplace wellness
This holiday season gives unlimited effort to those who mean the most to you and those in need. Spend time with different people and take your company to a higher level through collaborative efforts. Enjoy an enlightening new year by celebrating World Braille Day on January 4th.
This article is written byParismita Goswamiwho is a content writer and marketer atVantage Circle. A feverish poet and cinephile with a strong taste for music and specifically rock, she has an explorer's heart, a student and is a lover of the Himalayas. To get in touch, reach out firstname.lastname@example.org
Organizations around the world host events to spread awareness for braille and other accessible forms of communication. To participate: Pay attention to ATMs, elevators, calculators, signs, and other things containing braille. Learn more about Louis Braille and the history of braille.How do you celebrate World Braille Day? ›
Organizations around the world host events to spread awareness for braille and other accessible forms of communication. To participate: Pay attention to ATMs, elevators, calculators, signs, and other things containing braille. Learn more about Louis Braille and the history of braille.What is the theme of braille day 2023? ›
|Event||World Braille Day 2023|
|Date||January 4, 2023|
|Theme||Spread awareness about the importance of Braille (Last year)|
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.How do you promote braille? ›
Be prepared to provide information on braille transcription services. Ask if you can address Sunday School classes, scout troops, service organizations, etc. Request braille menus at your favorite restaurants. If they are not available, ask to speak to the manager or, if possible, the owner.What can you do with braille? ›
Braille allows blind and partially sighted people to learn spelling, grammar and punctuation and gain an understanding of how text is formatted on the page. Individuals learn in different ways – some people may find it easier to take in information via audio while others prefer to read the written word in braille.What is braille symbolism? ›
Braille is a system of touch reading and writing for blind persons in which raised dots represent the letters of the alphabet. It also contains equivalents for punctuation marks and provides symbols to show letter groupings. People read braille by moving the hand or hands from left to right along each line.How did braille change the world? ›
When Braille died in 1852 from tuberculosis at age forty-three, he did not realize that his invention would enable blind and visually handicapped people throughout the world to read and write as well as sighted people. Today, we have approximately eighty-five braille systems in the world based on Braille's invention.How many unique braille symbols are there? ›
A braille cell is an arrangement of up to six dots in two columns of three dots per column. There are 64 combinations of dots that form letters, characters, or symbols in braille.How many people use braille? ›
That experience is common: Fewer than 10 percent of the 1.3 million legally blind people in the United States read Braille, and just 10 percent of blind children are learning it, according to a report to be released Thursday by the National Federation of the Blind.
Braille is a tactile literacy system used by people who are blind or visually impaired for reading and writing. Braille is comprised of individual six-dot configurations called “cells” that are combined to create words. The dots of braille cells are embossed, or raised, and are read by touch rather than eyesight.What is the most used braille? ›
Grade 2 braille is the most commonly used form of braille code and is found in books, public signage, and restaurant menus to name a few. It consists of the 26 standard letters of the alphabet, punctuation, and contractions.How is braille used in a business? ›
Using braille signs alerts people with limited vision to possible dangers such as approaching steps or ramps, level changes, when an elevator is out of order or which areas should be avoided. Your arrangements ensure your premises are safe for everyone.What are the best practices for braille signage? ›
Braille should be placed directly underneath pictograms or print numbers if they exist. Always include braille and print text as well as the pictogram. A pictogram alone is not enough. Illustration: Shows a hotel door with a sign in text and braille positioned around head height in the middle on the door itself.What helps blind people read braille? ›
Blind and partially sighted people read from left to right across the page with a light touch, using one or both hands. The soft pads of the fingers are used to feel the raised dots, as these are more sensitive than the fingertips. Most sighted braille readers read braille by sight.What would life be like without braille? ›
Without it, they would have no way to read books, newspapers, magazines, or any other written material. It also helps them develop confidence and self-reliance. With braille devices, they can read and write independently, which means they can do things like go shopping, cook meals, study, and even drive!Can you read braille without being blind? ›
Anyone can learn braille and, like anything else, the more you practise, the better you get. We offer a range of courses and training sessions, as well as some free resources and fun introductions to braille. We believe braille is a vital tool for anyone who is blind or partially sighted.Where is braille used in public? ›
Lifts, cash machines and signs
Many buttons found in lifts and on cash machines have braille labels. You may also be able to find braille signage present in such places as office buildings and museum exhibits.
When all six dots are used, the character is called a “full cell.” dots 1,2,3,4,5 and 6. And when no dots are used it's an “empty cell!” empty cell. The picture below shows you how the dots are arranged in the braille cell for each letter of the alphabet.What are the two types of braille? ›
The two most common forms of braille are called Grade 1 and Grade 2, or uncontracted and contracted braille. Uncontracted braille, Grade 1, or Alphabetic Braille is the most basic form of braille.
3 A white cane, the international symbol of blindness.Why braille instead of raised letters? ›
Various methods—many of them raised versions of print letters—had been attempted over the years to enable blind people to read. The braille system has succeeded because it is based on a rational sequence of signs devised for the fingertips, rather than imitating signs devised for the eyes.What was used before braille? ›
Unfortunately, this difference seems to be one of the basis for some of the negative myths about Braille. Prior to the official acceptance of Braille, the common methods used to teach blind students to read were embossed, or raised letter systems.What does 3 dots mean in braille? ›
In unified international braille, the braille pattern dots-3 is used to represent an apostrophe, accent mark, or other punctuation.What does 4 dots mean in braille? ›
In unified international braille, the braille pattern dots-4 is used as a formatting indicator, accent mark, or punctuation.What is the backwards L in braille? ›
number sign in braille: dots 3, 4, 5, and 6 (Hint from the Braille Bug: Remember that each number has a special sign in front of it made up of dots 3, 4, 5, and 6. It looks like a backwards "L".)What is the politically correct term for visually impaired? ›
|Don't use||Acceptable Alternative|
|Blind (the), visually impaired (the)||Say "person who is blind", "person with vision impairment or low vision"|
|Confined to a wheelchair, wheelchair-bound (a wheelchair provides mobility not restriction)||Say "uses a wheelchair" or is a "wheelchair user"|
Using hand-under-hand or hand-over-hand, your child will learn to locate the top left corner of his paper or book and find the first row of braille. Your child will align all of his fingers (no thumbs) and gently, with curved and relaxed hands, move his fingertips steadily along each row of braille.What not to say to a blind person? ›
- You don't look blind. ...
- Are you deaf too? ...
- Is there a cure? ...
- I can't imagine your life. ...
- I'm surprised you have a real job. ...
- It is over there. ...
- You're inspiring. ...
- Inquisitive about their condition.
Instead of "my child with special needs," consider substituting "my child," or "my child with," or even just your child's name. When speaking with others, the term "disabled" is widely preferred, but it never hurts to ask about someone's personal preference when it comes to language.
- Limited vision: Acceptable when a person is not legally or completely blind.
- Low vision: Acceptable when a person is not legally or completely blind.
Not all blind and visually impaired people use braille.
It can take a while to develop the touch sensitivity you need for braille. This may make learning braille at an older age or with other health conditions affecting sensitivity in fingers more difficult.
The mean braille reading speed in congentially and early blind individuals is usually 80–120 words-per-minute [13,19–21] and some of them achieve reading speeds of 200 words-per-minute and more , a speed comparable with visual reading .Can a blind person write in braille? ›
A slate and stylus is a simple metal fram and a hand held "puncher" that blind people use to write Braille with. It serves the same function as a pen or pencil does to someone who is sighted. 3. Writing with a slate and stylus is slow, difficult and confusing for most children to learn.How do you interact with a blind person? ›
DO give a clear word picture when describing things to an individual with vision loss. Include details such as color, texture, shape and landmarks. DO touch them on the arm or use their name when addressing them. This lets them know you are speaking to them, and not someone else in the room.What are the strengths of braille? ›
Braille is a unique tactile writing system of raised dots that blind and partially sighted people can read by touch. The ability to understand braille means that people with sight loss have the same access to written word as sighted people and are able to enjoy reading for life.How do we help those people who Cannot see? ›
Blindfold any one child in the group. One by one, the other children come to him or her quietly. The child who is blindfolded has to guess who the other child is, by touching or hearing him or her.What does 2 dots mean in braille? ›
In unified international braille, the braille pattern dots-2 is used to represent a comma or other non-letter symbol or semi-letter.What do you call a braille teacher? ›
A Teacher of Students with Visual Impairments (also called a Teacher of the Visually Impaired, a vision specialist, VI teacher, vision itinerant teacher, etc.) is typically a licensed special education teacher who has received certification and specialized training, in meeting the educational needs of students who are ...