Author: Joanna Swanson, Head of Direct Sales, First National Bank of Omaha

As we begin a new year at Enable, we are working harder than ever toward our goal of improving lives by helping members of the disability community establish financial independence. Amid our efforts this month, we are also celebrating the importance of Braille literacy.

Braille is a universally accepted, 63-character writing system comprised of a series of raised dots. Louis Braille, the creator of the system who experienced blindness himself, was born on January 4, 1809. In honor of his lasting legacy, January has been officially declared Braille Literacy Month: a time to promote the value of Braille literacy around the world. At Enable, we have a profound appreciation for all that this ingenious system has allowed people to do since its invention in the early 19th century.

For individuals with blindness or visual impairment, learning to read Braille is integral to gaining independence and employment. Further, it allows access to information that empowers individuals to become actively engaged in their communities. As such, it is essential that children with visual impairments learn this system at an early age and are afforded the same opportunities as any other child learning to read.

At Enable, we recognize how invaluable the Braille system is to the blindness and visual impairment communities, and we believe every individual is deserving of the right and resources to experience the joy of reading. Like the Enable Savings Plan, the Braille code is a powerful tool for helping individuals with disabilities develop greater autonomy and increased participation in society.

Has the Braille code shaped your life or the life of someone you know? We encourage you to reach out to us on Facebook and tell us your story.