January 4th is observed across the world as World Braille Day, highlighting the importance of Braille as a means of communication in the full realization of the human rights for blind and partially sighted people.
Eye conditions are remarkably common. The World Health Organization estimates that globally, at least 1 billion people have a near or distant vision impairment that could have been prevented or has yet to be addressed.
Persons with vision impairment are more likely than those without to experience higher rates of poverty and disadvantage.
Not meeting their needs, or fulfilling their rights, has wide reaching consequences as vision loss often represents a lifetime of inequality, poorer health, and barriers to education and employment.
In November 2018, the United Nations General Assembly decided to proclaim 4th January as World Braille Day, recognizing that complete recognition of human rights and fundamental freedoms relies on an inclusive written promotion.
Braille, named after its inventor, Louis Braille, is used by blind and partially sighted people to read the same books and periodicals as those printed in a visual font.
Braille is a tactile representation of alphabetic and numerical symbols using six dots to represent each letter and number, and even musical mathematical and scientific symbols.
The Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities adopted a broader categorization of persons with disabilities and reaffirms that all persons with all types of disabilities must enjoy all human rights and fundamental freedoms.
Braille is essential in education, freedom of expression and opinion, and social inclusion, as reflected in article 2 of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.
It clarifies and qualifies how all categories of rights apply to persons with disabilities and identifies area where adaptations must be made for persons with disabilities to effectively exercise their rights and areas where their rights have been violated, and where protection of rights must be reinforced.
The 2030 Agenda for sustainable development, adopted in 2015, further pledges that no one will be left behind in the aim to ensure that all human beings can enjoy prosperous and fulfilling lives.