Braille, a writing system utilized by individuals with visual impairments, was devised by Louis Braille, a French individual who lost his sight due to a childhood accident. At the age of fifteen in 1824, he developed the braille code as an enhancement to night writing, based on the French alphabet. It’s code consists of a 3 × 2 matrix, known as the braille cell, which incorporates six raised dots. The number and arrangement of these dots distinguish one character from another. As language alphabets were originally created as transcription codes for printed writing, the character designations can differ across languages and even within a single language. It can be read by either using embossed paper or employing refreshable braille displays that connect to computers and smartphones.
What is Braille?
It is a simplified dot pattern employed to represent written language. It was invented in the 1820s by a French schoolboy who optimized an earlier code used by the French army to send messages in the dark. Each braille pattern, also known as a braille cell, fits neatly under a fingertip. Prior to the existence of it, blind individuals were expected to read printed letter shapes embossed on paper using wires, resulting in slow and limited production of text.
Braille faced opposition, primarily from sighted individuals, but it eventually spread worldwide and has been effectively used by millions of blind people in nearly every country. Nowadays, most computers, tablets, and smartphones have the capability to convert on-screen text into this system code, although an external braille display is necessary to raise and lower the pins that represent letters and symbols in the system. Many influential blind individuals attribute their success to it, and blindness organizations worldwide recognize the strong connection between braille literacy and the independence and opportunities available to blind people.
Braille is Not a Separate Language
What is braille, you may wonder? It is a code, a system that enables reading and writing in a specific language without relying on sight. It allows individuals with blindness and visual impairments to read through touch. Although Louis is credited with creating the current tactile reading and writing system, he drew inspiration from Charles Barbier, a French army captain who developed a similar code. Barbier devised a nonverbal communication system for his officers to read commands during nighttime without relying on candlelight. In the late 1800s, Louis refined Barbier’s system, laying the foundation for the braille code in use today.
Fortunately, braille is a code and not a language, allowing for its transcription into various dialects such as English, Spanish, French, German, and Italian.
Braille & AHG
In a unique fusion of expertise, AHG Chartered Accountants and the power of Braille are poised to make a significant contribution to Dubai’s thriving economy. Though seemingly disparate, these two entities possess strengths that, when combined, can create a ripple effect of positive change. Let’s explore how AHG Chartered Accountants and this system can collaborate to unlock new possibilities and empower the visually impaired community for economic growth in Dubai.
AHG Chartered Accountants
Leveraging its financial acumen, AHG Chartered Accountants can play a pivotal role by:
Empowering Organizations: AHG can extend pro bono or discounted accounting services to organizations dedicated to advocating for visually impaired individuals. By fortifying their financial stability, these organizations can expand their reach and impact, benefitting a larger segment of the community.
Promoting Financial Literacy: Customized financial literacy programs developed by AHG can equip visually impaired individuals with the knowledge and skills needed for effective money management.
These programs can cover essential topics such as budgeting, saving, and investing, enabling individuals to navigate their finances independently and contribute more actively to Dubai’s economy.
Encouraging Social Impact Investing: AHG can champion social impact investing by encouraging its clients and network to invest in businesses or initiatives that benefit the visually impaired community. This collaborative effort can fuel economic growth, create job opportunities, and foster a more inclusive society.
Driving Accessibility and Inclusion: Embracing the widespread adoption of Braille across essential services and public spaces can yield various economic benefits, including:
-Attracting a Skilled Workforce: By making Dubai more accessible and inclusive for the visually impaired, the city can attract and retain talented professionals. This infusion of skilled individuals enhances talent acquisition and bolsters the overall workforce, contributing to economic growth.
-Empowering Entrepreneurship: Improved accessibility empowers visually impaired individuals to embark on entrepreneurial journeys or pursue freelance work. This surge in entrepreneurship not only diversifies the economy but also fosters innovation and creates new economic opportunities.
-Enhancing the Tourism Industry: A tourism sector that prioritizes inclusivity and caters to the needs of visually impaired visitors can attract a broader range of tourists. This influx of visitors generates additional revenue for businesses and stimulates economic growth.
AHG‘s collaboration with Braille can yield remarkable outcomes. Here are some potential avenues for joint initiatives:
Sponsoring this system Initiatives: AHG can sponsor braille translation projects to make public documents, menus, and signage more accessible. This commitment to inclusivity not only enhances accessibility but also showcases AHG’s dedication to social responsibility.
Developing Braille-Friendly Accounting Software: AHG can collaborate with technology developers to create or adapt accounting software that seamlessly integrates with braille displays.
This innovation empowers visually impaired individuals to pursue careers in accounting or finance, contributing to the growth of the financial sector while promoting diversity and inclusion.
Organizing Awareness Campaigns: AHG can join forces with organizations working with the visually impaired to organize awareness campaigns. These campaigns, centered on the economic benefits of inclusivity and accessibility, can inspire businesses and individuals to embrace these principles. By fostering a collective mindset, Dubai can create an environment that thrives on diversity and propels economic prosperity.
While quantifying the direct economic impact of the collaboration between AHG Chartered Accountants and Braille may prove challenging, their combined efforts have the potential to create a more inclusive and accessible Dubai. This partnership can attract and retain talent, foster entrepreneurship, strengthen the tourism industry, and ultimately generate positive economic ripples across various sectors. By working hand in hand, AHG Chartered Accountants and Braille can pave the way for a brighter, more inclusive economic future in Dubai.