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  • Senin, 04 Januari 2010

    Celebrating Braille – A Successful History and Future Challenges

    Every year January 4th marks World Braille Day which commemorates the birth of Louis Braille. During the year 2009 the World Blind Union and its partner organizations celebrated the 200th anniversary of the birth of Louis Braille. It was a very successful and active year. Many blind and visually impaired people and their friends participated in various national and international events around the world. Among others events included conferences, Braille readings or essay contests to honor the inventor of the magic six dots. A special edition of commemorative postage stamps, showing the portrait of Louis Braille, was published in Liberia. Even in outer space a memorial stone maintains its orbit. An asteroid named after Braille.

    More than ever Braille is playing an essential role in the lives of millions of blind and visually impaired people worldwide. It is the key to accessing literacy, media and other written materials. For example tactile children's books enable blind children to explore the world of literature. High school and university students are working with technical literature in Braille to be successful in their programs of study and future careers.

    Although many goals regarding access to Braille resources have been addressed in recent years, much more has to be done. Especially in developing countries there is still a shortage of Braille books. Another problem is the use of different Braille code symbols concerning Math, Computer Braille or Phonetics by different countries. Thus, a simplified and common unification Braille code system should be established to facilitate the communication among blind and visually impaired Braille users around the world. Another issue involves the Braille labeling of products and facilities like bank machines, elevator key panels or packages. For that a common code of Braille is necessary.

    The World Blind Union is a worldwide movement of 161 Million blind and partially-sighted people acting on our own behalf to: eliminate prejudice; promote belief in the proven abilities of blind and partially sighted people; and achieve full participation and equality in society.

    We achieve our mission with and through our members - organizations of blind and partially sighted persons and organizations providing services to blind and partially sighted persons in over 180 countries and through our six Regional Unions.
    For further information contact:

    World Blind Union
    Penny Hartin, Chief Executive Officer