4th January is World Braille Day

Poster for World Braille Day (January 4)

The 4th of January is World Braille Day, as it is the birthday of Louis Braille, the Frenchman who invented the code in 1821. The reading and writing system is used by millions of blind and partially sighted people all over the globe.

Blinded in both eyes in an accident as a child, Louis Braille managed to master his disability and excelled in education. He took a scholarship to France’s Royal Institute for Blind Youth where he developed a system of tactile code that could allow the blind to read and write quickly and efficiently. The braille system works by representing the alphabet letters (and numbers) in a series of 6 dots paired up in 3 rows. The simplicity of his idea meant that blind people could read books by running their fingertips over the dots.

The RNIB says “Braille changes lives. It gives thousands of people independence, learning, literacy and the enjoyment of reading. Braille opens doors, and gives hope and inspiration.”

Wokingham library holds a small collection of children’s picture books in braille. Please ask any member of staff if you would like to borrow a title.