Most of us didn’t know about the Braille system or World Braille Day. In this article, we talk about Braille, Braille Day’s history, some facts about the braille system, and how we can take part in celebrating it with the loved ones we know who are suffering from blindness and visual impairment.
A Little about Braille and World Braille Day
Braille is more than a way for blind or visually impaired people who are unable to read and communicate. It is an essential tool to help those people function in the world and live their lives of independence.
Alas, Braille literacy is declining, and most of us have never drawn attention to it. World Braille Day is the best way to raise awareness and celebrate it with these special people. As we celebrate New Year’s Resolutions every year, we should also celebrate Braille Day each year.
What is Braille?
Braille is a tactual representation of alphabetical and numerical symbols. It consists of six dots representing each letter and number and even mathematical and musical symbols.
Braille (named after its inventor, Louis Braille) is used by blind and partially impaired people to read books and communicate with people in different organizations as normal people. It also allows them to live independently and freely as they choose to.
The History of World Braille Day:
January is Braille Literacy Month in honour of the birthday of Louis Braille. He was born on the 4th of January, 1809, and he lost his vision after an accident in childhood; at age 15, he created a reading and writing system named Braille.
World Braille Day is celebrated every year on the 4th of January as a reminder of accessibility for the blind and visually impaired.
In 2018, the United States officially approved World Braille Day to raise awareness about the importance of Braille for 40 million people worldwide who are blind, and approximately 250 million are partially impaired, according to a report by WHO.
World Braille Day is all about inclusion and diversity. Braille provides a strategic way to allow communication of important written information to ensure competency, independence, and equality as a normal person.
This date was formally delegated to spread awareness of Braille and why communication is crucial for these special people.
5 Fun Facts About Braille:
- Braille has been enhanced over the years and is now used in almost every language and country globally.
- Toys are available in the form of Braille, including Rubik cubes, UNO, and a lot more.
- The Braille Typewriter is different from other typewriters. Braillers have six keys related to each braille cell with six dots, including the space key, enter button, and backspace.
- Braille is not a language. It is the alphabet that can use to write any language.
- Braille is only capitalized when referring to its inventor, Louis Braille. Otherwise, referring to the system braille should be lowercase.
Top Ten World Braille Day Activities:
To honour Louis Braille and all those in our lives who are blind or partially impaired. Here are a few things you all can do to make a difference.
1. Set up a free eye examination:
Eye health must be prioritized in organizations by conducting yearly eye health checkup sessions. World Braille Day provides an opportunity for the organization to be concerned and raise awareness about the complications and issues faced by partially impaired or blind people.
Through these checkups, employees can ensure safety measures to reduce eye injuries. And protect against eye infections through excess screen time by providing protective eyewear during work.
2. Special Volunteering Events
The best thing is to volunteer! And what could be a better opportunity than volunteering on World Braille Day?
So, if you’re thinking about planning a volunteer event on this special day, allow your people to volunteer and initiate. You can also collaborate with a non-profit organization or a school for special-needs children. With their help of them, you can arrange a successful event.
You can conduct different games or shows and spread the word about Braille. You can also give some gifts to these people you know in your family or friend circle.
Here are some gift ideas for you:
- Braille Fun Sheets
- Sports Beep Balls
- Braille Children’s Book
- Braille Course Subscription
- Spread love, care, and joy among those special people and communities, and make them feel worthy and beautiful with your actions and generosity.
3. Writing Names in Braille Alphabets:
If you know some people in your family or community, spend a day with them. Give them a copy of the Braille Alphabet and try to practice them writing their name in Braille.
And also in different languages, that would be fun. Most people didn’t know how to use Braille. For more practice, poke holes up through the bottom of the card stock. And let them run their fingers over it so they can get an idea of what their name feels like.
4. Create Braille-themed greeting cards or bulletin boards:
If you’re a trainer or a teacher, please create bulletin boards or cards according to the students’ ages using Braille to create a word or something else. Introduce a gift prize for the student who deciphers first what the board says. Put the riddle together in Braille and give the prize to the one who figures it out.
5. Participate in Braille Bingo:
The Bingo activity is best for the whole group of kids. Create bingo cards using Braille letters, not numbers, and give them to each kid. Then use a chalkboard Braille letter and let the kids match the letter with their cards. The first person who gets into the first row wins.
6. Walkabout Special Braille Community:
On this Special Day, Take a Walk around the Community, Local Malls, or Restaurants. And see how many instances of Braille you can find around here. Ask the restaurants or banks if they have Braille menus or Braille chequebooks.
This activity is great to do with them. And teach all people how challenging it is to do these daily things if braille options are unavailable.
7. Conduct a Braille Scavenger Hunt:
Find these special children in your surroundings and arrange a Scavenger Hunt to entertain them. Play with them, so they feel special and motivated. Write a list of objects in Braille and let the kids run outside to find them.
Make some teams, hand them clue cards, and tell them that the first team to return with all the objects will win. Also, introduce a prize to make them happy at that moment.
8. Help Local Businesses with Braille:
To feel the challenges they face in life, you should put yourself in the shoes of someone who is blind. Think about the access and facilities your local business can give blind people to Braille.
Notice the places where you think, or seem, that they don’t have a braille system, and bring the words to the manager or server. You might think of sharing the importance of providing the braille system, for example, a braille menu. It’s like they’ll take it upon themselves to implement it.
9. Involved with people:
Use this day as an opportunity to become informed and discover ways to get involved with these people and help them. While interacting with them or spending time with them, remember you’re interacting with a whole person, not with a disability.
As Dhār Mann said:
“The biggest disability of all is the one people have on the inside when they judge others based on what they see on the outside.”
There are many ways to volunteer and provide much-needed support in your community. Take some time on this day and discover what the local needs are. And how can you volunteer your time or resources?
10. Start new policies to hire them and provide them with opportunities:
If you’re running a company or part of any recruiter team, make new policies in the firm to hire these people. As the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 states, “it is unlawful to discriminate against a qualified individual with a disability.”
People with disabilities are also highly motivated and hard-working individuals. And if you provide them with the right platform and polish their skills, they will break the stereotypes. They bear the potential to overcome all challenges and succeed in every field of life. And recruiting someone who has potential and is enthusiastic can be a good choice.
Last but not least, these special days allow us to give our all to those who mean the most to us and those in need. These days, spend time with different people and take your company and inspiration to a superior level. And with that, spread awareness and highlight on different platforms the importance of using the Braille System in different fields of work.