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The legal status of Braille

The main document that protects the rights of disabled people is the UN Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities, which was approved by the UN General Assembly on 13 December 2006. About 169 countries have already ratified this Convention (United States, Poland, Russia, Japan, Belgium and others). The Convention protects the right of people to receive information in a comprehensible form. For example, when creating a Web sitethere should be considered the possibility of using the information it contains by people who are not able to use ordinary keyboard or have abnormalities with hearing and vision. To solve this problem any computer can be equipped with a keyboard with Braille or speech synthesizer that reads text on the screen.

The World Association of Braille has played a great role in the adaptation of Braille for different languages (not only the most common such as English, French or Spanish). It was established in 1950 and is managed by UNESCO. In 1953 sir Klutha Mackenzie (the President of the World Association at that time) published International Abstracts of Braille that contained the principles of the Association and the Braille alphabet for the languages, which were adopted at that moment. In 1984, the World Association of Braille joined the World Society for the Blind.

Of course, USA is considered to be the most progressive country in ensuring the proper level of life for people with visual impairments. For example, the court in Washington acknowledged that existing banknotes discriminated rights of blind people, as all of them were of the same size, and completely indistinguishable when touching. In USA, no matter how paradoxical it may seem, there is a law that regulates the level of noise, which electric cars must produce because if the car is virtually silent, blind people may not simply «notice» it.

Currently, the most striking examples of using Braille for the comfortable life of the visually impaired are stickers and labels on various goods, including medicine. The most progressive country in the former Soviet Union in this field is Ukraine. For example, any imported drugs must contain information in Braille on the packaging; otherwise its importation will be banned.