Louis Braille was born on January 4, 1809 and this year we celebrate his 205th birthday! Born in Coupvray, France, Louis became blind at the age of 3 while playing with tools in his father's shop. When he was 10, he was sent to the school for the blind in Paris, but there were very few books available at that time for people who were blind. Inspired by a system of tactile writing created by French army captain, Charles Barbier, Louis Braille spent two years trying to simplify and perfect the code. When he was 15, the new code was ready, and was easier to learn and quicker to read.
It took many years before the Braille code was adopted widely. The first book in braille was published in 1827 and in 1878, the World Congress for the Blind voted to make Braille the system of reading and writing for people worldwide who are blind. There ensued a War of the Dots and it was not until 1932 that Standard English Braille was established for all English-speaking countries.
We salute Louis Braille and celebrate his birthday. January is National Braille Month in honor of his birthday.
Read more about the story of Louis Braille.