PRESS RELEASE November 2008

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

CONTACT: Judith Dixon, Chairperson Braille Authority of North America PHONE: 1-202-707-0722

E-MAIL: jdix@loc.gov

BANA Helps Celebrate Louis Braille’s 200" Birthday

January 4, 2009, will be the 200" birthday of the man who created the tactile code that has allowed blind people around the world to read: Louis Braille. Many organizations, schools, agencies, and individuals are planning special celebrations to commemorate this event and to honor Louis Braille and the code he created. The braille code, based on six dots that fit under the fingertips, allows blind people to read books and magazines, math and science materials, music, and foreign languages.

The Braille Authority of North America (BANA) has created an area on its web site where announcements of special events can be posted and shared. If your organization is planning an event to help celebrate Braille’s birthday, visit http://www.brailleauthority.org, and click the link for the form provided to fill in the information about your planned event. The information will then be posted on BANA’s web site.

The mission and purpose of the Braille Authority of North America are to assure literacy for tactile readers through the standardization of braille and/or tactile graphics. BANA promotes and facilitates the use, teaching and production of braille. It publishes rules, interprets and renders opinions pertaining to braille in all existing codes. It deals with codes now in existence or to be developed in the future, in collaboration with other countries using English braille. In exercising its function and authority, BANA considers the effects of its decisions on other existing braille codes and formats; the ease of production by various methods; and acceptability to readers.

For additional resource information, visit www. brailleauthority.org.