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January recognizes the legally blind and visually impaired for National Braille Literacy Month. The observance raises awareness of the importance of Braille to the blind and visually impaired community. As audio technology progresses, the use of Braille dwindles. However, its significance remains, especially in the workplace and the classroom. The month offers the opportunity to learn about and appreciate Braille. It’s also an excellent time to explore Braille’s history.Fast Facts About Braille

  1. Braille is not a language. Most languages have their own Braille system.
  2. Louis Braille created this system of reading around age 12. Unfortunately, a tragic accident blinded him at the age of 3. Braille became official in 1824.
  3. 6-dot Braille cells have 63 possible combinations. Each “cell” in Braille is arranged specifically with two dots across and three dots down.
  4. Braille exists for feet, too! Businesses have to meet standards set by the Americans with Disabilities Act. One of those standards is to have Braille on the ground to alert the visually impaired that they are approaching a dangerous area. You know those big, bright, yellow strips you see at the ends of sidewalks and sometimes as you walk out of a store or restaurant? That’s Braille for your feet.
  5. Most legally blind children in the U.S. don’t use Braille resources. Believe it or not, 34% of the more than 59 thousand legally blind American children are considered non-readers.
  6. HOW TO OBSERVE #NationalBrailleLiteracyMonthUse #NationalBrailleLiteracyMonth, #BrailleLiteracyMonth, or #BrailleLiteracy to post on social media about how you are taking part in National Braille Literacy Month. To celebrate National Braille Literacy Month, reach out to someone you know who is blind or visually impaired and have them show you how they read Braille. You’ll be amazed at the process! You can also help by connecting with the American Foundation for the Blind.