Before Sierra Leone goes to the polls, a training Officer is reading a tactile ballot guide to ensure persons with disabilities know how to vote (2018).
Before Sierra Leone goes to the polls, a training officer is reading a tactile ballot guide to ensure blind and vision-impaired persons know how to vote (2018). Photo: UNDP Sierra Leone/Lilah Gaafar


World Braille Day, celebrated since 2019, is observed to raise awareness of the importance of Braille as a means of communication in the full realization of the human rights for blind and partially sighted people.

What is Braille?

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. Braille (named after its inventor in 19th century France, 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 essential in the context of education, freedom of expression and opinion, as well as social inclusion, as reflected in article 2 of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

Through funding provided by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), and in collaboration with Argentinian publishers, Tiflolibros, a digital library for the blind, has produced 800 educational books in Spanish.


Excerpt from UNESCO manual, "Writing Peace"

"Writing Peace" is a manual that invites young audiences to become aware of the interdependence of cultures through familiarization with contemporary writing systems, their history, and their mutual borrowings. It provides a concrete introduction to many writing systems, including Braille.

International days are occasions to educate the public on issues of concern, to mobilize political will and resources to address global problems, and to celebrate and reinforce achievements of humanity. The existence of international days predates the establishment of the United Nations, but the UN has embraced them as a powerful advocacy tool. We also mark other UN observances.