Sur les traces de Louis Braille


Region: N/A

Year of Production: 2017

Duration: 52 minutes

It was 200 years ago that Louis Braille entered the Institution Royale des Jeunes Aveugles (institution for blind youth) in Paris, after losing his sight as the result of an accident in his father’s workshop. A few years later, and still a teenager, he invented a raised-dot writing system that has changed the lives of millions of people living with visual impairment. His Braille system has opened the door to knowledge, culture, and greater autonomy for all those not able to rely on their eyes to read and learn.

Nearly 2 centuries after the invention of his revolutionary writing system, a group of 10 young Quebecers sets out to follow in the footsteps of Louis Braille. During the trip, organized by the Fondation des Aveugles du Québec, they’ll visit key places in Braille’s life, from his birthplace in Coupvray to the Institut National des Jeunes Aveugles, where he taught all his adult life.

They’ll also discover some of the many wonders of the French capital, from the winding streets of Medieval Paris to the top of the Eiffel Tower, as they follow an original itinerary adapted to make the most of their Parisian adventure. At the Louvre Museum, they’ll visit the tactile gallery, designed to allow the visually impaired to feel the evolution of sculpture over the centuries. In the sewers of Paris, they’ll enjoy a multi-sensory visit, sure to tingle the nose and the ears! And at the Père Lachaise Cemetery, the famous dead are brought back to life thanks to a storytelling guide who can also carry a tune. It’s an expedition rich in activities, punctuated by encounters with colourful and inspiring Parisians at very turn.

Their visit has many objectives. It’s a journey of discovery to know more about Louis Braille and his life-changing invention, to better understand this young man whose name is so familiar to everyone in the group, from what they’ve heard at school or simply because they use his writing system. But it’s also about showing these young people – and all those who will follow their voyage – that when you’re well prepared, traveling with a visual impairment is not only possible, but also enjoyable and rewarding. For members of the group, this mission to Paris is an opportunity to broaden their horizons by discovering another country and another culture, as they take a step towards autonomy while enjoying a beautiful experience together. It is a well-known fact that travelling when you’re young builds character…whether you see it or not.