New 55c stamp issued to commemorate Louis Braille

 

An Post has issued a new 55-cent stamp in Braille to commemorate the bicentenary of the birth in 1809 of Louis Braille, the inventor of the reading and writing system used by the blind and visually impaired.

The stamp, designed by Red Dog Design Consultants, features an eye in black ink on a white background with the 55-cent denomination in Braille.

The sharp black and white contrast is intended to maximise vision for those with sight impairment.

The stamp is An Post¿s second Braille stamp - the first was issued in 2006 to mark the 30th anniversary of the Irish Guide Dogs for the Blind.

Chief executive of the National Council for the Blind of Ireland Des Kenny said: "Louis Braille was an especially gifted individual.¿

Mr Kenny said: ¿His creativity combined with his inquisitive mind and unrelenting determination led to him design a system of reading and writing that literally revolutionised the lives of millions of people who are blind across the entire globe.

¿It is a fitting tribute for An Post to issue this stamp in this remarkable man's memory."

The new stamp may be viewed or purchased at www.irishstamps.ie and at post offices nationwide.

Louis Braille, who lost his sight at the age of three, began developing his raised-dot system as 12-year-old student in Paris in 1821 after being shown a similar but more complex system of raised dots and dashes invented to allow French soldiers communicate silently in the dark.

He reduced the army¿s system to a more simplified grid consisting of just six dots, which eventually revolutionised communication for the blind.

He never received the full recognition he deserved for his invention during his lifetime and the system was only officially recognised in France two years after his death, in 1854.