On November 2, 2012, the United States members of the Braille Authority of North America (BANA) voted to adopt Unified English Braille (UEB) to replace English Braille American Edition in the U.S. Based on extensive dialog and planning that involved more than 30 organizations as well as individual consumers, teachers, and transcribers, BANA established January 4, 2016, as the date by which the United States will implement UEB.
BANA is working toward implementation of UEB in four phases:
I. 2013: Information year—BANA developed and disseminated information about UEB and gathered input from constituents.
II. 2014: Infrastructure year—BANA and other organizations planned for procurement and production of braille materials in UEB and developed training materials.
III. 2015: Instructional year—Readers, producers, and educators will become proficient in UEB.
IV. 2016: Implementation year—All new transcriptions will be produced in UEB; educators will teach the code. Devices and software will fully and accurately incorporate UEB.
As of the implementation date in 2016, UEB, Nemeth, Music, and the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA) will be the official codes for use in the United States. BANA is providing guidance on how to incorporate the Nemeth Code into UEB context with the intent that the Nemeth Code will continue to be integral to braille in the United States. The document Provisional Guidance for Transcription Using the Nemeth Code within UEB Contexts is available as PDF and BRF files on the BANA website at www.brailleauthority.org/ueb.html.
BANA recognizes that in order to make an effective transition to UEB, states and organizations will need to develop customized implementation plans. To maximize efficiency and impact, BANA encourages widespread collaboration and sharing of expertise, resources, and training.
BANA continues to post and update information and materials about UEB at www.brailleauthority.org.
The Board of BANA consists of appointed representatives from seventeen member organizations of braille producers, transcribers, teachers, and consumers.
The mission of the Braille Authority of North America is to assure literacy for tactile readers through the standardization of braille and/or tactile graphics.
The purpose of BANA is to promote and to facilitate the uses, teaching, and production of braille. Pursuant to this purpose, BANA will promulgate rules, make interpretations, and render opinions pertaining to braille codes and guidelines for the provisions of literary and technical materials and related forms and formats of embossed materials now in existence or to be developed in the future for the use of blind persons in North America. When appropriate, BANA shall accomplish these activities in international collaboration with countries using English braille. In exercising its function and authority, BANA shall consider the effects of its decisions on other existing braille codes and guidelines, forms and formats; ease of production by various methods; and acceptability to readers.