World Braille day, 4 January

8 January, 2022

[*see note below]

'The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates at least one billion people globally have a near or distance vision impairment that could have been prevented, or has yet to be addressed.

Life under lockdown has posed challenges for the visually impaired, including in terms of independence and isolation, according to the UN.

COVID-19 has also revealed the importance of having information available in Braille and audio formats, otherwise many persons with disabilities could face higher risk of contamination. The pandemic has also underscored the need to ramp up digital accessibility for all people.

Disability-inclusive response

During the pandemic, several UN agencies have been implementing good practices towards a disability-inclusive response and disseminating information in Braille.

For example, in Malawi, the UN Development Programme (UNDP) has produced more than 4,000 braille materials on awareness and prevention of COVID-19.'

HIFA profile: Richard Fitton is a retired family doctor - GP, British Medical Association. Professional interests: Health literacy, patient partnership of trust and implementation of healthcare with professionals, family and public involvement in the prevention of modern lifestyle diseases, patients using access to professional records to overcome confidentiality barriers to care, patients as part of the policing of the use of their patient data

Email address: richardpeterfitton7 AT

[*Note from HIFA moderator (Neil PW): Thank you Richard. We have yet to adequately address on HIFA the information needs of those with visual impairment and how to meet them. I invite HIFA members to comment: ]