JANUARY 4 IS WORLD BRAILLE DAY

03 January 2023

Why is it important?
World Braille Day began in 2019 to spread awareness of braille as an essential medium for literacy for blind or partially sighted people. According to the CNIB, 1.5 million individuals in Canada identify as living with sight loss. Of that number, 252,000 reside within B.C. 

What is it?
Braille uses tactile dot combinations to represent numerical or alphabetical symbols. Braille has been an important medium for literacy since its invention by Louis Braille (1809-1852).

In Canada, we use the Unified English Braille system. Like other forms of writing, there are a variety of options for users – from slates to electronic devices. These tools allow blind or partially sighted individuals to participate in written communication, literary discourse and much more. 

“In the world of vision loss, the invention of braille must be compared to the invention of the printing press – its birth was nothing short of a revolution.” (Braille Literacy Canada)

How does assistive technology contribute to an equitable workforce?
Our diverse abilities and perspectives contribute to the growth of our province. It’s one of our greatest strengths, and it’s worth investing in. However, there are still barriers that make it difficult for everyone to participate in the workforce. This is where the difference between equality and equity comes into play. 

Equality means treating everyone as if they are the same, while equity acknowledges that we don’t all have the same abilities. Assistive technology – such as braille keyboards or screen readers – can help reduce barriers to work and create a more equitable workforce. Find services. 

Additional resources