PRESS RELEASE – THE United Nations General Assembly has adopted the World Blind Union’s Resolution affirming World Braille Day, celebrated every January 4, to raise awareness of the importance of Braille to converting the written word to tactile form, for the benefit of blind and partially sighted persons worldwide.
Members and partners of the World Blind Union including the Saint Lucia Blind Welfare Association (SLBWA) have reacted with excitement upon receiving the news.
Executive Director of the SLBWA Mr. Anthony Avril (OBE.QEDJ) has described the news of the UN affirmation of World Braille Day as “one that is received with joyful celebration by people living with Blindness and Vision Impairment in St. Lucia and the Caribbean.”
“The UN Action provides a significant boost to the WBU’s lead struggle to ensure availability, accessibility and affordability of Braille reading and writing to Citizens of the World.
“There is no doubt that for us living with Blindness, Braille is the panacea inspite of important Assistive Technology.
“To date, it is the only medium which provides direct physical contact with the written words.
“Indeed, Braille is very essential, particularly for children in the formative years.
“To this end, the Caribbean Council for the Blind (CCB) and SLBWA call on Caribbean Governments and Ministries of Education, to equip Special Educational Needs Teachers with Braille Literacy teaching skills, to empower children in their remit”.
World Blind Union President Dr. Fred Schroeder noted that: “This is a wonderful achievement especially because Braille is the means of literacy for blind people. Literacy is the foundation of education and the foundation of full integration of employment.
Physically blind female masseuse Miss Stacia Jules says: “The UN has given us a great New Year gift.”
Moreover, the Caribbean Council for the Blind (CCB) and SLBWA also applauds the World Blind Union for relentlessly championing the cause of the blind.
“To its credit,” says Mr. Avril, “the latest UN action is among several seminal achievements, which also include the UN “Treaty of Marrakesh”.
World Braille Day also commemorates the birthday of Louis Braille, who was born in 1809 in France, becoming blind after a childhood accident.
When he was just 15 years old, he created the system known today as Braille. (Saint Lucia Blind Welfare Association)