World Braille Day 2019
By Lauren Daws
Why do we celebrate World Braille Day?
The inventor of Braille, Louis Braille, was born on the 4 January 1809, and as such each year we acknowledge the importance of accessibility and independence for those who are blind or visually impaired.
Louis Braille was born in France in 1809 and was left blind after a terrible accident when he was only three years old.
When Louis was 15 he began creating the system we now know as ‘braille’ based on Charles Barbier’s ‘night writing’ (or sonography). Sonography was used for night-time battlefield communications and allowed soldiers to silently converse without any light.
Louis first published the braille system in 1829, with a second, more developed system then published in 1837. While braille is now used by millions of people, it wasn’t until two years after Louis’ death in 1852 that the school he attended as a child (France’s Royal Institute for Blind Youth) began to teach it to students.