The UN World Braille Day was celebrated on the 4th of January in order to raise awareness of the importance of this writing system used in languages across the world. Blind and partially sighted people need to gain access to information through accessible formats such as audios and Braille as a means of communication. Braille is based on a system of raised dots that can be “read” by fingertips and is the official communication system for blind and visually impaired people. Louis Braille invented this revolutionary writing system consisting of 63 symbols at the age of 15 in 1824. He was blinded at the age of three and attended the National Institute Blind Children in Paris. His work was inspired by a military code called “night writing” invented by Charles Barbier, a French army officer. Barbier invented the 12 dot night writing code for silent communication on the battlefield.
Watch the video to learn more about the history of this fascinating and helpful invention.
Written by Victoria Milhan, Schuman Communication Trainee Terminology Coordination Unit. She holds master’s degrees in English Language (linguistics) and Medieval English Literature, Newer English Literature and Celtic Studies. Victoria is enrolled as a PhD student at Bonn University in Germany.