Engaging Specially-abled people on World Braille Day


The World Braille Day is celebrated to mark the birth anniversary of Louis Braille, the man behind Braille. Louis was just 15 years old when he created this masterpiece which we call Braille.

Over time, there have been a lot of tweaks to make its use more easy and efficient. The day’s celebration encourages organizations to assist the specially-abled people and engage them in various socio-economic activities.

The World Braille Day was observed in 2019 for the first time. In India, the Borivali railway station in Mumbai became the first station to be Braille friendly.

What is Braille?

Louis developed a system of six dot finger-tip reading. This is basically a code that can be translated into many languages.

COVID-19 pandemic and people with visual impairment:

For people with loss of vision, COVID-19 emerged as a greater challenge as these people purely rely on touch as the major way of communication. The pandemic has revealed the importance of developing accessible communication formats like audible formats and Braille. Countries like Malawi and Ethiopia have set examples by generating 4000 plus Braille materials on COVID-19 awareness and audio information, respectively.

Laws for the specially-abled people:

– India has progressed by leaps and bounds. In 1995, the first disability law was drawn.

– In 2006, India was the first country to sign the UN Convention for the Rights of Disabled People, and later ratified it in 2007.

– In 2012, the landmark amendment was done to the Indian Copyright Act of 1957 in which creation of literature for the blind people without any need for copyright access.

– India had also come up with the National Policy on Universal Electronic Accessibility in 2013. However, it still remains an unfulfilled dream.

– The PWD Act of 1995 aims at bringing in equal opportunities, protection of rights and ensuring full participation of the people with disabilities.

An inadequate understanding of their needs can lead to aggravated situations for the specially-abled people. Thus, proper orientation of the stakeholders and an accommodative attitude is what we need.

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