Statement from the Nordic Braille Committee

The Importance of Braille

Statement from the Nordic Braille Committee

The Nordic Braille Committee is a collaboration between the Braille councils of Finland, Norway, Sweden, Denmark and Iceland.

On October the 25th and 26th, we gathered in Reykjavik for our annual meeting in the Nordic Braille Committee. At the meeting, we shared news from each country and enjoyed presentations about Braille and mathematics, revision of the Danish Braille code, the bumpy path to make good Braille music on paper, the development of a multi-lined Braille display intended for images and a presentation manifesting the usability and necessity of Braille for blind people in all aspects of life. All of this together resulted in a wish to communicate the need for Braille as we do below.

Braille means access

The ability to read Braille at a proficient level is crucial for persons who are blind in order to pursue our dreams of education, employment and leisure activities as equal members of society.

Braille is the basis of learning for persons who are blind, not an additive. Braille allows for learning how to spell for immersion and for a sense of space. Reading with sound cannot substitute reading Braille.

Braille users constitute a very small group, and knowledge of Braille and how to teach it is therefore scarce and difficult to maintain.

Through our collaboration in the Nordic Braille Committee, we strive to:

  1. Raise awareness of the necessity of learning Braille for persons who are blind.
  2. Pursue the recognition of Braille as a writing system on equal terms with the print alphabet used by people with sight.
  3. Ensure a high level of competence among users and teachers on Braille and Braille reading strategies digitally as well as on paper.