World Braille Day is celebrated around the world on 4th January to commemorate the birth of Louis Braille in 1809. Born in France, Braille became blind in both eyes at the age of 3. He had a great yearning to be able to read and write, however, despite his disability.
As an attentive student, at the age of 15, he developed a set of symbols by making raised dots on a piece of paper. The dots could be easily felt by hand, thus enabling the blind to feel them and hence, read and write.
The language developed by Louis Braille is known today simple as Braille. Louis’s work was not only confined to alphabets. He was passionate about music too, and thus, in the latter part of his life, he developed a Braille language for music. While developing the language, he made a point to keep it flexible so that it could be adapted to almost any musical instrument around the world.
There is no public holiday for Braille Day in any part of the world. However various NGOs and other organizations come together on this day to raise awareness about access for the blind and visually impaired.
Audiobooks seem to have taken the place of Braille for many visually impaired people. However audio alone cannot give the blind access to all the information available to sighted individuals. Most specialists in the field agree that audio plus Braille is the most effective strategy.