RNIB celebrates World Braille Day on social media

RNIB’s social media team used a specially designed braille name generator to send social media users their name in a braille-style image

Pexels/Eren Li

The Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB) has celebrated World Braille Day by inviting the public to discover their name in braille.

World Braille Day, 4 January, recognises the birthday of Louis Braille, who invented the braille system in 1824/25.

RNIB noted that many individuals with sight loss feel braille enhances their independence, education, and employment prospects.

On 4 January, users of LinkedIn, Threads, and X (Twitter), could request a representation of their name in a braille image by responding to the RNIB social media posts and stating their first name.

The RNIB social media team created images using a name generator app developed by Matt Eason, a software developer who works for Fivium and specialises in technological solutions for accessibility.

Holly Tuke, social media officer for RNIB and 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.”

Tuke suggested that, even with 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,” Tuke shared, explaining that partnering with Matt Eason has meant the system for creating the graphics is accessible for the whole team.

Eason, whose grandfather was blind, developed the app for RNIB after discovering that staff were manually generating the braille images in previous years.

He said: “We need to listen to people with sight loss and, if they are 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.”