The World Blind Union (WBU) is delighted to join the rest of the world in celebrating World Braille Day on 4 January 2020, the second year since it was officially designated by the UN General Assembly as a day 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.
The WBU takes the opportunity to highlight the importance of braille to persons who are blind and partially sighted and to advocate for continued use or braille as a means of making information accessible, especially in the education system. The WBU is also advocating for promotion of braille literacy and availability of braille educational materials especially in schools in developing countries. The WBU is committed to promote braille literacy and lifelong learning through its scholarships programme. The scholarships are especially awarded to students from developing countries willing to learn braille.
Meanwhile the WBU is urging countries which have not ratified the Marrakesh Treaty to do so without hesitation to ensure that all published works and books are produced in accessible formats, including braille.
Article 21 of the UN Convention on the Rights of persons (CRPD) obligates member states to ensure that information intended for the general public is in accessible formats such as braille, and as per article 24 of the CRPD countries are to ensure that in the education system, students who are blind receive their education in the modes that are most appropriate to their needs, such as braille from educators who are fluent in braille.
Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 4 calls for equal access to all levels of education for the vulnerable, including persons with disabilities.
In order to achieve the above, WBU encourages countries to ratify the aforementioned Treaties and ensure that appropriate measures are taken in order to adequately achieve SDG 4, promote the importance of braille literacy along with other forms of accessible technologies. Governments should provide more opportunities for teachers to learn braille and explore more ways of sharing braille literary works and books in keeping with the Marrakesh Treaty stipulations.
The World Blind Union (WBU) is the global organization that represents the estimated 253 million people worldwide who are blind or partially sighted. Members consist of organizations of blind people advocating on their own behalf and organizations that serve the blind, in over 190 countries, as well as international organizations working in the field of vision impairment. Visit our website at www.worldblindunion.org
For further information, please contact:
Communications Officer, World Blind Union