World Braille Day 2023 and Birth Date of Louis Braille

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Office of the Texas Governor, Governor's Committee on People with Disabilities

Celebrating Louis Braille's Birthday on World Braille Day 2023

Since 2018, the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) has celebrated "International World Braille Day" on January 4th each year in recognition of Louis Braille's, the inventor of the braille code, birthday. International World Braille Day raises awareness of the importance of braille as a means of communication for people who are visually impaired.

Governor Abbott has also issued a proclamation recognizing International World Braille Day in Texas.

Born on January 4th, 1809 near Paris, France, Braille lost his vision at age five due to an infection. Braille would go on to attend France's Royal Institute for Blind Youth, one of the first specialty schools for blind students in the world. While in school, he began to develop the tactile code that would become braille, which remains relatively unchanged to this day. As an adult, Braille worked as a teacher at the Institute and would continue to refine the system until his death in 1852. Although braille code was not widely adopted for many years, today it is recognized as a critical tool for increasing literacy, education, and employment for people who are blind. Since its creation nearly 200 years ago, braille has offered new levels of accessibility and independence for people across the globe who are blind or visually impaired.

“Braille is a game changer," said Texas Workforce Commission Criss Cole Rehabilitation Center Director Diane Yoder. "It is a major contributor making a significant difference in the lives of people who are blind. Research shows that people who are blind and use braille are more likely to be employed and live independently. Braille is essential for literacy and the training and resources for braille have evolved tremendously since its inception. Blind Texans wishing to go to work or older blind Texans wanting more independence can obtain resources for learning braille and so much more by contacting Texas Workforce Solutions-Vocational Rehabilitation Services at 1 (800) 628-5115 press option 3.”

"The vision of the Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired is that all students who are blind, low vision, or deafblind will be empowered to lead productive and fulfilling lives," said Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired (TSBVI) Superintendent Emily Coleman. "This is attainable through access to braille accommodations, materials, and instruction, which leads to academic success and future employment. Braille offers new perspectives, information, and inspiration as print does for others; allowing students to dream big and ensuring those dreams come true."

In his proclamation, the Governor notes that we must strive to create a fully inclusive and accessible state for Texans – and we’re doing just that. TSBVI, in partnership with the Region 14 Education Service Center in Abilene is developing a new curriculum for teaching braille called "Literacy for Little Ones." Focusing on children ages 3-5 years old, the program will include assessment tools, curricular materials, activities for home and a design for on-going support for children to learn braille. Together, we’re removing communication barriers and allowing more Texans to join in the world of building a better, brighter future for our state and nation.

Read the Governor’s International World Braille Day proclamation. .