4 January: Remembering Louis Braille on Birth Anniversary
Louis Braille (4 January 1809 — 6 January 1852 was a French educator and inventor who is best known for developing the Braille system of reading and writing for blind people. To celebrate his achievement, World Braille Day is celebrated annually on 4 January to honor Louis Braille.
Life and Career
He was born on 4 January 1809 in Coupvray, France, and lost his sight as a result of an accident when he was just three years old. Despite his blindness, Braille excelled in his studies and was admitted to the National Institute for Blind Youth in Paris when he was ten years old. At the institute, he was introduced to a system of raised dots for reading and writing that had been developed by a military captain named Charles Barbier. Braille was not satisfied with Barbier’s system and set out to develop a more efficient method.
Braille’s system, which he developed when he was just 15 years old, used a grid of six dots that could be arranged in various combinations to represent different letters, numbers, and punctuation marks. The system was easier to learn and more efficient than the one developed by Barbier, and it quickly gained popularity among blind people.
Braille’s system was officially recognized by the French government in 1854, and it has since been adopted by many countries around the world as the primary means of reading and writing for blind people. Braille died on 6 January 1852 at the age of 43. His legacy lives on through the widespread use of the Braille system, which has enabled countless blind people to read and write.
Award and Legacy
His contribution to education and the development of the Braille system of reading and writing for blind people have had a lasting impact and he is widely recognized as an important figure in the history of education.
The Encyclopædia Britannica lists him among the “100 Most Influential Inventors Of All Time” The 200th anniversary of Braille’s birth in 2009 was celebrated throughout the world by exhibitions and symposiums about his life and achievements. Among the commemorations, Belgium and Italy struck 2-euro coins, India released a set of two commemorative coins (Rs 100 and Rs 2), and the USA struck a one-dollar coin, all in Braille’s honor.
On 4 January 2006, Google Doodle celebrated Louis Braille’s 107th Birthday.