Celebrating Louis Braille's Birthday and AFB's Commitment to Braille Literacy

Illustration of Louis Braille

Every January 4, we celebrate the birthday of Louis Braille, who developed his famous braille code when he was only a teenager. Learn more about the creation of the braille code by exploring AFB's Louis Braille Online Museum.

The American Foundation for the Blind's recognition of the importance of braille has been a constant throughout the 95 years of our existence.

Beyond Recognition: What Machines Don't Read

Helen Keller reading braille, October 1965

Helen Keller reading braille at her home in Westport, Connecticut. October 1965.

I am delighted that the fifth in our series of posts focusing on the Helen Keller Digitization Project is from Mara Mills New York University Associate Professor of Media, Culture and Communication. Mara’s post - on the continued importance of human transcribers - is fascinating and I encourage everyone to read it. Many thanks Mara!

Movie Magic: Helen Keller in Paris to Honor Louis Braille, 1952

Two hundred and seven years ago, on January 4th, 1809, Louis Braille was born in Coupvray, France. His invention of a system of raised dots representing letters, numbers and punctuation revolutionized the way blind people read and write and opened a wealth of knowledge to visually impaired audiences. In 1952, one hundred years after his death, Braille's body — with the exception of his hands — was removed from his home town to the Pantheon in Paris. Helen Keller was asked to give the speech on that occasion.

ALERT!—Historic Bill Breaks Down Braille Barriers for All!

BLINK Act on Fast Track for Congressional Action!

In a surprise move early this morning, key leaders in both the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives have reached bipartisan agreement on brand new landmark legislation requiring all sighted students across America to exclusively learn and use braille. The bill, entitled the Braille Literacy Is Necessary Knowledge (BLINK) Act, was only introduced late last evening in an attempt by the bill’s champions to thwart mobilized opposition by proponents of vision dependency.