January 4, 2016
Since its creation in 1824, braille has granted millions of visually impaired individuals worldwide the ability to live a life of normalcy by creating a means of reading and writing books, music, maps, and much more. Louis Braille, the creator of the language of raised dots and notations on paper, first developed the language to combat his own loss of eyesight from a tragic accident at the age of three. In its 207 years of existence, braille has grown from simply a method of reading to a solution for a multitude of potential struggles for the visually impaired; in many parts of the world, “Braille for feet” has made its way onto city streets as a way to create a physical indication of street endings and intersections. Braille has not only appeared on roadways, but visually-impaired-friendly railway stations offer Braille maps and schedules for travelers.
Currently, only 5% of publications are offered in braille, with restrictive copyright laws prohibiting the mass publication and distribution of increased materials for the visually-impaired. A treaty is working to combat such laws and allow these books to be transported internationally, giving more individuals the opportunity to have an education on par with their peers.
January 4, 2016 is a unique World Braille Day, as it is the official beginning of the United States’ adoption of UEB (Unified English Braille), which replaces the previously used English Braille American Edition. This allows for a more unified version of braille to be used and taught in the United States, with a greater ability for common understanding of the language between countries.
To celebrate and honor the creation of braille this year, you can contact your local officials to help promote the Marrakesh Treaty which will allow for greater distribution of braille materials for individuals, worldwide. Epic is here to serve, so please contact us for your home health and therapy needs!