Sight loss charity celebrates World Braille Day with ‘braille name generator’
To mark the celebration of World Braille Day on Thursday 4 January, and the vital importance of braille, the Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB), is inviting people to request their name in braille.
Braille is the internationally recognised system of raised dots that enables people who are blind and partially sighted to read and write by touch. Many people with sight loss say braille enhances their independence, education and employment prospects.
World Braille Day celebrates the birthday of Louis Braille who invented the system in 1824/5. On 4 January, X (Twitter), LinkedIn and Threads users can request a braille representation of their name in an image, by responding to RNIB’s social media posts stating their first name. Braille-style images of first names will be sent direct in replies to requests and people can share their image as they wish.
RNIB’s social media team will create the image using a special name generator app developed by Matt Eason, a software developer who works for Fivium, and specialises in technological solutions for accessibility. Matt, whose grandfather was blind, developed the app specifically for RNIB to use after realising RNIB staff were having to manually generate the braille images in previous years.
Holly Tuke, RNIB’s Social Media Officer, who is blind, said: “Braille is a vital method of communication for blind and partially sighted people. It’s been part of my life for as long as I can remember. When my friends were learning to read and write, I was learning braille. For me, braille is my freedom, independence and privacy.
“Even with constant advances in technology, braille will always have a place in my work and personal life.
“Our braille name generator is a brilliant way of marking World Braille Day and raising awareness about the importance of braille. It’s a great learning opportunity. Working with the fantastic Matt Eason has allowed us to have a system of creating the braille name graphics that is accessible for everyone in our team.
“There’s lots of hard work that goes on behind the scenes to create RNIB’s social media content. As a blind social media professional, it means that I’m able to get involved in the entire process. That’s huge.
“Thanks to the assistive technology I use every single day to carry out my job, and Matt’s hard work creating the generator for us, I can take part in the behind-the-scenes fun!”
Matt Eason said: “We need to listen to people with sight loss and if they're saying that braille is a useful, valuable thing, then we need to trust that and do as much as we can to help preserve and promote this form of communication.”
RNIB social media channels:
Notes to editors
The braille name generator will be in operation on 4 January only.
RNIB plays a crucial part on supporting people with and without sight loss to learn and practice braille by linking them with relevant courses and information, developing and selling a wide range of braille products and providing a braille-on-demand book service through RNIB’s online library. If you’d like to know more about any of these services, call our helpline on 0303 123 9999 or email [email protected].
We are the Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB).
Every six minutes, someone in the UK begins to lose their sight. RNIB is taking a stand against exclusion, inequality and isolation to create a world without barriers where people with sight loss can lead full lives. A different world where society values blind and partially sighted people not for the disabilities they’ve overcome, but for the people they are.
RNIB. See differently.