Planning the Transition to UEB:
Actions and Opportunities
Authored by the Braille Authority of North America
The transition to the Unified English Braille Code (UEB) in the United States will take time, require the cooperation of us all, and necessitate extensive preparation and coordination. The implementation will follow a carefully crafted timeline and coordinated plan that will take into consideration the various aspects of using, learning, teaching, and producing braille.
To develop a strong and effective plan for implementing UEB, the Braille Authority of North America (BANA) is engaging in a range of actions and events. BANA is developing materials, presenting informative sessions, and hosting opportunities to gather input and ideas from individual braille users and from the various communities involved with braille.
BANA values the knowledge, skills, and experience of all those who will be impacted by the implementation of UEB. One of BANA's approaches is to actively use a variety of avenues for dialogue with our constituents about what they need to make the transition to UEB and how BANA can help.
The following is a list of BANA's activities from November to date, and a preliminary list of upcoming activities in 2013 as they relate to the UEB implementation in the United States. BANA's efforts are dynamic and rapidly expanding, so please check often to learn what is happening where, when, and how you can be involved.
November 2012 – January 2013:
- Voted at BANA Board meeting, November 2012, to adopt UEB in the United States
- Established UEB Task Force made up of seven members of the current BANA Board
- Held teleconferences of Task Force to identify immediate needs as well as intermediate and long term needs and objectives
1st Quarter of 2013 (January – March)
- Developed document that outlines differences between English Braille American Edition (EBAE) and UEB
- Initiated preparation of a training document to help professionals gain knowledge of UEB, to be completed by summer 2013
- Developed and presented separate webinars for Hadley School for the Blind and American Foundation for the Blind (AFB)
- Developed and presented a workshop at the conference the California Transcribers and Educators of the Blind and Visually Impaired (CTEVBI)
- Initiated development of web-based methods for constituents to give input regarding transition to UEB
- Engaged in preliminary discussion with the UEB Maintenance committee of International Council on English Braille ensuring that a specific symbol for switching from UEB to Nemeth Code (dots 456, 146) will be available for adoption.
2nd Quarter of 2013 (April – June)
- Semiannual BANA Board Meeting, April 11-13 at Library of Congress
- BANA Open Forum at Arlington Public library, April 13
- BANA presentation and dialogue at NBA Conference
- Presentation at Conference on Visual Impairment Employment Practice and Policy, Baruch College, City University of New York, New York City
- Presentation and dialogue at AFB Leadership Conference, Chicago, IL
- Presentation and dialogue at AER Pennsylvania-Delaware AER Vision Conference, Gettysburg, PA
- Presentation at NLS Braille Summit, Watertown, MA
- Article prepared for JVIB
3rd Quarter of 2013 (July – September)
- Presentation and dialogue at convention of National Federation of the Blind (NFB), Orlando, FL, to the following groups: Annual Rehabilitation and Orientation & Mobility Conference; Annual Meeting of Professionals in Blindness Education; Annual meeting of National Association to Promote the Use of Braille
- Presentation and dialogue at convention of American Council of the Blind (ACB), Columbus, OH
- Presentation and dialogue at West Virginia AER Conference
- Presentation at Pennsylvania's low incidence workshop
- Presentation and dialogue at the California School for the Blind, Fremont, CA
- Presentation and dialogue at Utah AER Conference
4th Quarter of 2013 (October – December)
- UEB Transition Forum held in association with the Annual Meeting of the American Printing House for the Blind (APH)
- Presentations and dialogue at APH Annual meeting
- Semiannual BANA Board Meeting, Louisville, KY
- BANA Open Forum, Louisville, KY
- Presentation and dialogue at National Braille Association (NBA) Conference, Colorado Springs, CO
- Presentation and dialogue at Alabama AER Conference
- Preconference UEB training prior to Getting in Touch with Literacy Conference, Providence, RI
- Presentations and dialogue at Getting in Touch with Literacy Conference, Providence, RI
- Presentation and Dialogue at Wisconsin AER Conference
For additional information, visit www.brailleauthority.org.