UN World Braille Day
January 4th 2021 shall be the United Nation’s third annual observance to raise awareness of the importance for Braille in the communication of those with visual impairments.
Braille was invented in 19th century France by Louis Braille as a tactile writing system for those with visual impairments. The Braille systems incorporate the use of six dots to represent letters, numbers, and mathematical, scientific and even musical symbols.
Under the United Nation’s Convention of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, Braille is considered an essential aspect of education and freedom of expression.
The Covid-19 pandemic has been particularly detrimental in the lives of those with disabilities, who have seen an even greater disparity in the access to health care, education, employment and social inclusion. The marginalisation of such individuals during these times has highlighted the growing need for essential information to be produced in more accessible formats, including that of Braille, audible and digital formats.
More accessible formats on information may seem like a minor step however without it, those with visual impairments may face a higher risk of Covid-19 contamination due to lack of access to information regarding guideline and precautions in containing the spread of the pandemic.
The United Nations has been particularly committed during the pandemic in promoting more inclusive and accessible COVID-19 relation information in Braille. In Malawi, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) have successfully produced and distributed 4,050 braille materials on awareness of COVID-19. UNICEF have also produced all of their guidance noted in multiple languages and accessible formats such as Braille and easy to read formats in order to be more inclusive to the greater populati
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