BANA Adopts Guidelines at Spring Meeting and Hosts International Council on English Braille

Press Release
July 2016
For Immediate Release

Contact: Jennifer Dunnam, Chair
Braille Authority of North America

The Braille Authority of North America (BANA) held its 2016 spring meeting May 19–21 in Baltimore, Maryland. The Council of Schools and Services for the Blind (COSB), a BANA member organization, hosted the meeting, which was held at the Maryland School for the Blind.

BANA welcomed new Board member Jessica Rivera who replaces Barbara Finkelstein as the Associated Services for the Blind (ASB) representative. BANA was honored to have several guests from the braille authorities of Australia and New Zealand as well as a number of local professionals and transcribers who observed the meeting.

One of the highlights of BANA's three-day meeting was the Board's approval of the eagerly anticipated 2016 revision of Braille Formats: Principles of Print-to Braille Transcription. This work is now being prepared for publication and will be available on the BANA website later this year. Hardcopy versions will be available for purchase at a later date.

The BANA Board also approved an expanded version of the previously distributed "Provisional Guidance for Transcription Using the Nemeth Code within UEB Contexts." The newly adopted document incorporates additional examples as well as modifications based on input from users of the provisional version. This new "Guidance for Transcription Using the Nemeth Code within UEB Contexts" is now available on the BANA website at

In addition, the Board approved another guidance document—"Provisional Guidance for Transcription Using the Chemistry Code within UEB Contexts." This document will be available on the BANA website this summer.

Following the BANA meeting, the International Council on English Braille (ICEB) held its Sixth General Assembly. This meeting, which is held every four years, was jointly hosted by BANA and the National Federation of the Blind (NFB) at NFB headquarters in Baltimore. In addition to conducting Council business, this five-day meeting included papers and poster/demonstration presentations from members of organizations representing braille authorities in all eight ICEB member countries.

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.