Two hands reading a braille book on a white table

January 4 Is World Braille Day

January 4th is recognized as World Braille Day by the United Nations. The day marks as a reminder of the importance of accommodations and accessibility for those who are visually impaired. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates approximately 12 million Americans 40 or over live with some form of visual impairment. Of that population, 1 million are blind. World Braille Day is recognized to bring awareness to the importance of accessibility and independence for people who are blind or visually impaired.

January 4th also commemorates the birthday of Louise Braille, the grandfather of the Braille writing system. Born in France in 1908, Louise Braille became blind after a childhood accident. At the age of 15, he developed what we now know as modern braille based on Charles Barbier‘s night writing system.

Braille is often a preferred method for reading documents. It allows braille readers direct and private access to information. World Braille Day aims to increase the awareness of the need for braille documents in places like hospitals, restaurants, and banks to allow equitable freedom of choice for braille readers.