On January 4, 2019, the United Nations marked the first official World Braille Day. The World Braille Day is an event observed in order to raise awareness of the importance of braille as a means of communication in the full realisation of the human rights for blind and partially sighted people.
Braille is a tactile representation of alphabetic and numerical symbols using six dots to represent each letter and number, and even musical, mathematical and scientific symbols. Braille (named after its inventor in 19th century France, Louis Braille) is used by blind and partially sighted people to read the same books and periodicals as those printed in a visual font. Use of braille allows the communication of important information to and from individuals who are blind or partially sighted, ensuring competency, independence and equality. It serves as a means of communication for blind persons, as reflected in article 2 of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and is essential in the context of education, freedom of expression and opinion, and access to information and written communication, as well as for the social inclusion of blind persons, as reflected in articles 21 and 24 of the Convention.
In Nigeria, the issue of rights of persons with disabilities has remained contentious, owing to the lack of a law that protects these set of people. A few months back, the National Assembly completed work on the bill but it is yet to be assented to by the president. The discrimination against persons with disabilities bill, sponsored by Coalition of Disability Organisation (CODO), according to its promoters, when signed into law, would maximally boost human capital development and encourage indigenous and foreign participation of persons with disabilities in economic, social and political development of the country.