Ombudsman says braille opens door to the world to the visually impaired

Ljubljana – In his message marking World Braille Day, Human Rights Ombudsman Peter Svetina stressed the importance of braille for the visually impaired. Learning and education are fundamental human rights and braille enables the visually impaired to access them, opening them the door to the world and enabling them independence, Svetina said.

The ombudsman has been striving for the visually impaired to receive the tools and adjustments they need to improve their lives as much as possible.

“By printing magazines, newspapers, text books and books in braille we are enabling literacy to the visually impaired, inclusion into society and easier communication. Without that they are marginalised and do not have equal opportunities,” he said.

The alliance of associations of the visually impaired of Slovenia also stressed the importance of access to information through braille.

It also noted that in January the 140th anniversary of birth of Minka Skaberne will be marked. Skaberne organised translating books into braille and enabled the setting up of the first and only library for the visually impaired in Slovenia, which is still open today.

Several events will be held today to mark the anniversary and World Braille Day, including three debates, two exhibitions and a book launch.

Braille is named after its creator, Louis Braille, a Frenchman who lost his sight as a result of a childhood accident. In 1824, at the age of fifteen, he developed the braille code based on the French alphabet. World Braille Day is observed on his birthday.