‘World Braille Day’ by Seattle Lighthouse Braille Instructor Julie Brannon
Why is January 4th reserved as World Braille Day? There is a reason that a day would be set aside around the world for this phenomenal literary code that was developed by a young French man, for whom the code is named, Louis Braille.
This reading and writing code consists of merely 6 dots, but yet it has been adapted as a code for all foreign languages, math, science, music, and computers. Just six dots provide a code for all of the above needs.
The development of the system is recognized as a key factor that has allowed people who are blind and visually impaired to become educated and compete in all the areas of life that print allows for their sighted counterparts. Unfortunately, there has been a decline in braille training and acceptance in the past few decades, and the Lighthouse was very concerned and aware of this trend.
In May of 2008, I was hired on contract to develop a Lighthouse Braille Training Program. Lighthouse employees who have been and who are currently being trained in braille include individuals who are blind, visually impaired, Deaf-Blind, blind with other disabilities, and sighted. If you talk to a braille user, you will soon begin to understand that braille is to them what print is to persons able to read print!