World Braille Day 2024 Helps Start the New Year

Having trouble viewing this email? View it as a Web page.

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

World Braille Day 2024 Helps Start the New Year

In celebration of World Braille Day, Governor Abbott issued a proclamation acknowledging the importance of braille to people who are blind or have low vision. Born on January 4, 1809, Louis Braille completed the first tactile system for reading and writing for his fellow students at the school for the blind in Paris, France in 1824. Two hundred years later, braille still affords people who are blind the ability to read and write independently around the world. Braille is a code, not a language, so it has been adapted for many written languages. Unified English Braille (UEB) was adopted for use in English speaking countries of the world in 2016. Prior to that, braille in the US was different from braille in the UK.

As people with sight read and write print to be successful in school, work, and everyday life, those who are blind use braille. Unfortunately, braille is not being taught at the same levels today as it was in the 20th century. Many believe braille is outdated because of audio books and computers with screen reading technology. Braille is not obsolete! It is vital to the development of literacy, access to school and work, and just as indispensable as printed signs, labels on boxes, cans and bottles, or books and magazines are to those who are sighted. For many students who are blind and visually impaired, access to higher education and future career success in the jobs of the 21st century depends upon braille literacy skills. Although other reading mediums are available for many of these students, STEM education success required to enter or complete post-secondary education may only be practical with braille math and literacy skills.  

If you have ever wondered why braille is on the drive thru ATM at your bank, remember that people who are blind have the right to use the ATM independently and privately when someone drives them to the bank. Celebrate World Braille Day with Governor & Ms. Abbott today and every time you encounter braille throughout the year.

GCPD offers several policy recommendations for strengthening braille education in Texas in the Education section of our 2024 – 2025 Biennial Report.

World Braille Day 2024 Proclamation