Today, January 4 is world braille day declared by the UN General Assembly in 2018. As such South African Braille Authority (SABA) a national registered authority for braille standards, as well as the member of the International Council for English Braille (ICEB). We are joining the rest of the world to raise awareness for the importance of braille as a means of communication in the full realization of the human rights for persons who are blind or partially sighted. Furthermore, SABA advocates for access to information through recognition and resourcing of braille for reading, writing, learning and teaching of blind and partially sighted South Africans. SABA commemorates this day under the theme “Importance of Braille to the Blind and Visually impaired”.
SA Braille Authority upholds braille as a primary and an essential tool for literacy and lifelong learning for the Blind and visually impaired, their freedom of expression and opinion, as well as social inclusion as enshrined in Articles 21 and 24 of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD), Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 4 which focuses on inclusive and equitable quality of education and promotion of lifelong learning opportunities for all, National Development Plan (NDP) 2030 and the AU Strategic framework agenda 2063 that aims to deliver on its goal for inclusive and sustainable development and is a concrete manifestation of the pan-African drive for unity, self-determination, freedom, progress and collective prosperity pursued under Pan-Africanism.
SABA regards World Braille Day as of paramount importance to the recognition of the need for provision by both public and private sector of quality of life for blind and partially sighted people as a cornerstone for inclusive service and equitable service delivery starting by, acceptance of this day.
SABA observes this day by
- Conveying key messages to the public as we are aware that not everyone has deeper knowledge on braille.
- Raising Awareness to both braille consumers and the society at large.
- Promotion of Braille usage amongst Blind people.
- Contributing through giving a gift in Braille or Donating to a Blind or partially sighted person. This could be books, toys or learning tools.
- Urging you to learn how to read Braille.
SABA in partnership with Blind SA will commemorate this day with participating schools for the Blind in South African, in February 2022 during the World Read Aloud day through comprehensive programme that encourages Blind and Partially sighted learners to appreciate and learn braille through story reading.
The SA Braille Authority therefore urges the government private sector and members of the society to join our Braille constituency and celebrate Braille by
- Recognition of South African Braille Authority
- Providing funding to SABA and Member organisations for the development and production of braille.
- Initiate awareness programs that promotes knowledge about the importance of Braille
- Including Braille materials in all government documentation and information material.
- Provide for Braille equipment, as well as subsides some essential industrial equipment for braille.
We call on government to fast track finalisation of the ratification Marrakesh Treaty for the benefit of blind and partially sighted South Africans, as well as to conclude on Copyrights Amendment Bill.
South African Braille Authority President,