Life of visually-impaired people is full of challenges. Due to a widespread perception built by our society, it is believed that blind people cannot live a normal life. WHICH is wrong! What few people know is that the other senses of the blind are more heightened than the commoners. Many visually-impaired people have reached the pinnacle of their profession.
Braille invented the Braille system
Among many great names belonging to the visually impaired community, the name of Louis Braille generates veneration. His contribution as the inventor of Braille has helped the blind and partially sighted people to read and write across the world. Louis Braille was born in France on January 4, 1809. Therefore, January 4 is celebrated as the birth anniversary of Louis Braille.
Need to raise awareness
This day is observed to pay tribute to the inventor of Braille. Because of his efforts, much less visually fortunate have to join mainstream literacy drive and shape their lives. This one invention has given hope to millions of visually impaired people in society, and they have been able to break away from their so-called disability and rise from it to lead their lives more independently.
It is the responsibility of the society as a whole to empower such differently-abled people and a step forward to create social as well as economic opportunities for them and help them in gaining access to the braille machine.
History of Braille
Louis Braille lost his both eyes in an accident while he was a child. Despite being visually-impaired, he did not lose his heart; instead, he mustered confidence and showed courage to conquer his disability. Braille continued his education and showed his immaculate creativity as a student. Gradually he started getting accolades from all quarters and received a scholarship to France’s Royal Institute for Blind Youth.
Military cryptography inspires Braille
During his studies, he got inspiration from the military cryptography of Charles Barbier of the French army, later Braille’s tireless work helped him to invent a unique universal system of tactile code which proved a boon for the blind to read and write quickly as well as efficiently. Braille achieved this unique feat in 1824 while he was a fifteen-year-old lad. In 1929, just as soon as he crossed his teens, he published his first Braille book, “Method of Writing Words, Music, and Plain Songs through Dots, for Use by the Blind and Arranged for Them”.
Raised dots represent letters
Braille is a touch reading and writing system which are used by the visually-impaired people who cannot go through the print materials. As per the Braille system, raised dots are used which represent the letters of the print alphabets. Besides these, symbols are also included in the system that represents punctuation marks, mathematics and scientific symbols.
Blinds get chance to read and write
Reading with the help of the Braille system, visually-challenged people have to move their hands from left to right along each line. The simplicity of Braille’s idea was the reason behind the production of books on a large scale in a format that provided an opportunity to the visually-impaired to read by running their fingertips over the dots and continue their study and get the pleasure of reading like any seeing person. This system has brought a revolution in the life of blinds and stand them shoulder to shoulder with the seeing people.
To improve the conditions of the blinds the Marrakesh Treaty was signed in Marrakesh on June 27, 2013, to boost the production and make a simple law for the international transfer of specially-adapted books for the visually-impaired so that such disabled people have the access of specially designed books. This treaty has provided an opportunity for the blind organisation to share the resources with their counterparts in less developed countries, which do not have the resources to produce books for the visually-challenged people. This treaty came into effect from September 30, 2016.
However, war footing efforts are going on to make the life of visually-challenged people better, but the reality is that in many other places – restaurants, banks, hospitals, railways and the likes, they do not have braille menus, statements or bills. Therefore blinds face all kinds of difficulties in such places. Some apps have been created by experts for such differently-abled people in recent times so that they can operate on mobile phones. However, their condition is far from sufficient. Therefore, governments all over the world, along with NGOs and people from all walks of life have to take all essential steps to sort out the distress of the blinds.