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Safeguarding the legacy, investing the inheritance - A tribute to the transformative impact of Louis Braille's invention on the lives of Blind People

by Jonathan Mosen MNZM

Jonathan Mosen MNZM, a confident, approachable man with neat hair and clean-shaven look. Dressed smartly in casual attire, he exudes warmth and charisma.

In his keynote address to the International Council on English Braille, Jonathan Mosen MNZM paid tribute to the transformative impact of Louis Braille's invention on the lives of Blind People. Mosen recounted the historical journey of Braille, from its inception by an unrecognized genius to its eventual acclaim and celebration. He emphasized Helen Keller's tribute to Braille, highlighting its crucial role in the intellectual and educational empowerment of Blind People.

Jonathan Mosen MNZM is a renowned advocate for the rights of Blind People, a prolific author, and a distinguished leader in the field of assistive technology. With a career spanning over several decades, Mosen has been instrumental in advancing accessibility, particularly through his work with Braille and digital tools that enhance the lives of Blind People. His contributions have earned him widespread recognition, including the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to the blind community. As a passionate speaker and educator, Mosen continues to inspire and drive change, championing the cause of literacy and equal opportunities for Blind People worldwide.

Mosen reflected on the bicentenary of the Braille code, underscoring the importance of preserving and celebrating this invaluable legacy. He acknowledged the relentless efforts of the International Council on English Braille and other Braille authorities in maintaining the relevance of Braille in a rapidly evolving world. Expressing his gratitude for the platform, Mosen stressed the collective responsibility to continue investing in the literacy and opportunities that Braille affords.

Delving into the historical context of blind education, Mosen highlighted key milestones, such as the establishment of the first school for blind children by Valentin Haüy and Louis Braille's journey from a bright child to a pioneering inventor. He corrected historical inaccuracies, clarifying the respectful relationship between Charles Barbier and Louis Braille and dispelling myths about the origins of the Braille code.

Mosen also addressed the ongoing struggle for a unified Braille system, recounting the "war of the dots" and the eventual adoption of a standardized English Braille code. He praised the perseverance of Blind People and their allies in overcoming these barriers and emphasized Braille's broader significance in promoting equality. Mosen's address called for honoring Louis Braille's legacy by investing in the tools and systems that enable Blind People to thrive, ensuring that this "priceless gift to the blind" remains vibrant and relevant for future generations.

Read or listen to the keynote address: Safeguarding the legacy, investing the inheritance
 

Striving to remove barriers that prevent us from building a Diverse, Vibrant, Inclusive, Accessible Community!

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