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285 million people are visually impaired worldwide: 39 million are blind and 246 have low vision (WHO 2011)
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World Congress Braille21

The hands of a girl reading the raised dots of a text in Braille in Ethiopia
A girl reading Braille in a school in Ethiopia

CBM was a partner of 'World Congress Braille21', an international congress about Braille where its innovative potential in the 21st century was discussed by people from all over the world.

'Innovations in Braille in the 21st Century'

Logo Braille21 ©Braille21
Braille21 was hosted by the German Central Library for the Blind in Leipzig (DZB Leipzig), and took place from 27th to 30th of September 2011.

CBM (a member of the World Blind Union) was a partner of the congress, the patron was German Chancellor, Angela Merkel, and the theme was 'Braille and its chances and challenges today and in the future'.

This was a platform where people from all over the world discussed the innovation potential of Braille in the 21st century.

Participants, projects and focus

More than 400 participants from 49 countries attended and six focus themes were discussed - one for each dot of the Braille system:
  1. Education and literacy
  2. Vocational training, employment and lifelong learning
  3. Research and development
  4. Improving access to information
  5. Braille as a part of Universal Design
  6. The role of Braille in enabling independent living

Programme and further information

Further information

Contact: Jenni Handschack
Telephone: + 49 341 7113-162

Read more about CBM and blindness

VISION 2020 – A global alliance

In 1999 CBM was one of the founding organisations to launch VISION 2020, a global initiative to eliminate avoidable blindness by the year 2020


Update - Oct 2011

Delegates at World Congress Braille21
More than 400 experts from 49 countries discussed the future of Braille at this congress. CBM, among other organisations, was thanked for its generous support, which helped fund attendance of participants from countries such as Ethiopia, Peru and Kenya, Read press release below.

Press release


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