BANA Board Teleconference Wednesday, August 9, 2017, 1:00 p.m. EDT Minutes APPROVED

1. Call to Order: Jennifer Dunnam

Jennifer Dunnam, BANA chair, called the meeting to order.

The following board members were in attendance:

Jennifer Dunnam, National Federation of the Blind (NFB), Chair
Sandra (Sandy) Ruconich, American Council of the Blind (ACB), Vice Chair
Dawn Gross, Alternate Text Production Center (ATPC), Secretary
Frances Mary (FM) D'Andrea, American Foundation for the Blind (AFB), Immediate Past Chair
Guy Toles, AMAC (Accessibility Solutions and Research Center)
Cathy Senft-Graves, American Printing House for the Blind (APH)
Jessica (Jessi) Rivera, Associated Services for the Blind and Visually Impaired (ASB)
Mary Nelle McLennan, Association for Education and Rehabilitation of the Blind and Visually Impaired (AER)
Tracy Gaines, California Transcribers and Educators for the Blind and Visually Impaired (CTEBVI)
Saul Garza, Clovernook Center for the Blind and Visually Impaired
Darleen Bogart, CNIB (Canadian National Institute for the Blind)
Vivian Seki, Hadley Institute for the Blind and Visually Impaired
Greta Hoesley on behalf of Maryann Bartkowski, Horizons for the Blind
Elaine Spinale on behalf of Jackie Sheridan, National Braille Press (NBP)
Tamara Rorie, National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped, Library of Congress (NLS)
Kim Charlson, Perkins School for the Blind

Jen Goulden for associate member Crawford Technologies

Susan (Sue) Reilly participated in her role as administrative assistant.

Not attending:

Diane Spence, National Braille Association (NBA)

2. Welcome and introductions

Jennifer Dunnam welcomed Guy Toles to the board as the new representative of AMAC.

Jennifer Dunnam invited Jen Goulden to provide a bit of information about the Order of Canada and Darleen Bogart's appointment. The citation as it appears on the Governor General of Canada website is as follows: Darleen Bogart was made Officer of the Order of Canada for her efforts as an advocate for people with vision loss, notably for her contributions to the promotion and advancement of Braille worldwide. Congratulations Darleen!

3. Agenda Review

Jennifer Dunnam presented the agenda, no changes were requested.

MSC Mary Nelle McLennan moved and FM D'Andrea seconded the motion that the agenda be approved. The motion passed unanimously.

4. Arrangements/Planning for Fall Meeting

Vivian Seki provided information about the upcoming Fall meeting, which will be hosted by Hadley Institute for the Blind and Visually Impaired in Winnetka, IL, November 2-4, 2017. Thursday and Friday are full days, Saturday will adjourn at noon. Please see the document "BANA Fall Meeting Arrangements" forwarded to BANA-L for detailed information. Contact Vivian with suggestions if you are interested in a group event.

5. Spring 2018 and Fall 2018 Meetings

The Spring 2018 meeting will be hosted by ATPC at the LAX Marriott April 9-11, 2018. Monday and Tuesday are full days, Wednesday will be a half day. Hotel information will be sent when available.

The Fall 2018 meeting will be hosted by ACB November 1-3, 2018 in Salt Lake City, UT at the Utah School for the Deaf and the Blind. Thursday and Friday are full days, Saturday will be a half day ending at noon. Sandy is inviting everybody to her home for a catered dinner on Friday evening.

6. Recommendations from General Committee on UEB

FM D'Andrea reported that the General Committee on UEB has met several times and have drafted a document containing seven issues that warrant clarification in The Rules of Unified English Braille.

Proposed Clarifications/Additions to UEB Rulebook (Revised, 7/17/2017)


Seven possible issues are identified as warranting clarification or expansion in the Rulebook. In addition, one new word ("DeafBlind") is proposed for addition to the shortforms list.
The seven clarifications/expansions proposed are summarized as follows:

  • 1. Explanation of use of line continuation indicator when a symbols-sequence is too long for one braille line;
  • 2. Synchronization/expansion of Definition of "text elements" between UEB §8.5.5 and §9.9.1;
  • 3. Reinforcement of the point that a "word" is no longer standing alone when it includes an interior capital letter indicator;
  • 4. More language or at least more examples to help allay misunderstandings about §10.9.5 and how it relates to §10.9.3;
  • 5. Choosing of cross symbols--purposed-based or follow print symbols?;
  • 6. Who should be applying the Rules of List Construction.
  • 7. Possible addition of "DeafBlind" to the Shortforms List

1. Line Continuation Indicator For Any Sequences Too Long for One Line

It would be very helpful if the issue of web addresses or other strings too long for one line could be better addressed in the main UEB Rulebook. As things stand, many are assuming that the line continuation indicator only applies to numbers, since the only actual rules about this indicator are in in §6. However, the examples in §10.12.3 and elsewhere, along with the statement/examples in section 17.2 of the Guidelines for Technical Material, make clear that the intent is for the line continuation indicator to be used to show the continuation of other types of symbols-sequences that cannot fit on one line.

We propose that language be added to the primary rulebook to make this clear, since URLs and other long strings appear often in everyday material that does not fall into the "technical" category. Such language should also repeat that the indicator does not terminate numeric or grade 1 mode and should include the guidance given in 17.2 of the GTM stating that a line break should not be introduced between letters. One suggestion for where to add such language is §10.13.

2. "Text Elements" As They Relate to Capitalization and Typeforms

UEB §8.5.5 and §9.9.1 discuss the treatment of same text elements when dealing with capitalization or application of typeforms to passages. We recommend that the information in these two sections be made more parallel to assist transcribers (and software developers) in handling these items correctly. For example, guidance from 8.5.5 could be added to 9.9.1 such as the addition of the words "bulleted or numbered list" in the parenthetical note. We understand that the effect of a capitalized passage indicator can continue in some places where the effect of a typeform passage indicator cannot, and perhaps this is the reason for the difference in these sections, but clarification would be helpful—even if just in the form of additional examples.

3. Words Not Standing Alone If They Include Interior Capital Letter Indicator

There has been some confusion about how a capital letter indicator relates to a "letters-sequence." UEB §8.3.3 refers to the capital indicator as a "prefix"; this is an example that can lead to the assumption that the capital letter indicator is technically part of the symbol of a capitalized letter. It follows from this assumption that a letters-sequence with an interior capital letter indicator (for example "GoodLake"), preceeded and followed by a space dash or hyphen, is to be treated as one letters-sequence that is standing alone.

However, If one takes the trouble to piece together information from the Standing Alone rule and other rules, it is apparent that actually, the interior capital letter indicator causes a "word" to be divided into two letters-sequences with a capital indicator between, neither of which is standing alone. Therefore, in "GoodLake" the "good" shortform should not be used since the letters-sequence is not standing alone. If all the letters in this sequence were lowercase ("goodlake"), the shortform could be used according to 10.9.3c.

It would be very helpful if this point were made more explicit via language in the shortform rules and perhaps additional pertinent examples in the Standing Alone rule.

4. Grade 1 indicators, Letters-sequences, Confusion with Shortforms

The current language in the UEB Rulebook states:

"10.9.5 Use a grade 1 symbol indicator before a letters-sequence that could be read as a shortform when 'standing alone,' or which occurs at the beginning of a longer letters-sequence."


This statement is sometimes read as a judgment call for the transcriber to determine whether the reader might reasonably read the sequence as a shortform or not. If we understand correctly, this is not a call for judgment at all, but a call to know whether the rules make the sequence read as a shortform or not. The decision to use or not use the grade 1 indicator is to be made by applying the previous rules of 10.9.

For example, "BLVD" for Boulevard seems like something obvious and not confusing to a reader at all, but the rules say that the initial sequence "bl" is a shortform since it is not followed by a vowel or y. A grade 1 symbol indicator must be used before "bl" in Blvd., or else it is read (and back translated) as "blindvd".

Therefore we propose a slight language revision so that the clause reads:

"Use a grade 1 symbol indicator before a letters-sequence when the rules would cause it to be read and back translated as a shortform when 'standing alone' or when occurring at the beginning of a longer letters-sequence."

We also propose adding additional examples of common sequences such as BLVD. for Boulevard and LLC for Limited Liability Company.

5. Choosing "cross" symbols

UEB §3.9 reads as if the "cross" symbols are chosen by the transcriber based on their purpose, rather than following the symbols used in print (i.e., if a plain x is clearly used when multiplication is intended, this rule reads as if the 5, 236 should be used. If this is not the intent, then a revision should be made.

6. Rules for List Construction

There has sometimes been some confusion regarding the "Rules for List Construction" that start on page 239 in Appendix 1 of the UEB Rulebook. These rules are designed to guide the code maintenance committee in consideration of adding words to future revisions of the definitive Shortforms List, but that is not clear to many new users of the Rulebook. It would be helpful if a sentence could be added at the beginning of these rules clearly indicating that readers and transcribers do not add words to the Shortforms List but that the rules listed explain how the CMC adds new extended shortforms to the official list. The relevant pages for transcribers and readers are 229-238.

7. Proposed Addition to Shortforms List

Currently the shortform for "blind" can be used in the word "deafblind" when it is in lowercase because that word is on the shortforms list. "DeafBlind" (with the D and B capitalized) is a distinct and deliberate way to write this word to connote cultural identification. If we understand the rules correctly, the "blind" shortform cannot be used when the "B" in "DeafBlind" is capitalized because the interior capital indicator in effect causes this word to be divided into two letters-sequences which are no longer standing alone. The request to add this term to the Shortforms List came to BANA via representatives from the DeafBlind community. We therefore request adding "DeafBlind" to the shortforms list due to its importance as a cultural indicator.

Information on the usage of "DeafBlind" is provided in the excerpts below:

Cultural Identity

Many people who are Deaf or DeafBlind consider themselves to be part of a distinct cultural group. A group is considered a cultural group when it has its own language, norms, traditions, and values. For example, most people in the USA who identify as members of Deaf or DeafBlind Culture use American Sign Language (ASL) as their first language, and typically do not view their inability to hear as a deficit or disability, because according to the norms and values of their cultural group, they have normal, fulfilling, interactive lives without depending on sounds or spoken language to communicate.

When the words Deaf and DeafBlind begin with a capital letter, these terms refer to a person's cultural identification as a member of a language community. In the U.S. and parts of Canada, that linguistic minority communicates in American Sign Language (ASL). In other countries, the local Deaf and DeafBlind people use a native sign language that is different from ASL, just as people in Spain use a native spoken language that is different from English.

Medical View

By contrast, when we refer to the medical condition of not being able to hear well, we write deaf with a lowercase d. Similarly, deafblindness refers to the medical view of a DeafBlind person as someone who has impaired hearing and sight, but it makes no reference to the person's language and cultural affiliation.

MSC FM D'Andrea moved that this list be forwarded on to the CMC of ICEB for their consideration, Darleen Bogart seconded. The motion carried.

FM D'Andrea will send Jennifer Dunnam the final document, Jennifer will forward to ICEB.

FM mentioned that there are a couple of other items that the General Committee on UEB has been discussing but were not ready for this teleconference: 1) clarification and questions regarding prefixes and suffixes of technical terms such as chemistry words; and 2) the computer braille code document about the status of the Computer Braille Code. She hopes that this information will be ready to present to the Board prior to the November meeting.

7. ICEB Update

The ICEB Executive Committee is meeting the week of August 14, 2017, FM will report back to the Board at a later date.

The new symbol for the triple vertical bar, #_l (dots 3456, 456, 123), was voted on and approved by the Executive Committee.

The change will be distributed to all of the braille authorities once ICEB finalizes the language to be added to the Rulebook including the appropriate section numbers, etc. BANA will distribute this information in our usual manner once ICEB puts out a press release.

Cathy Senft-Graves indicated that there are a couple of items that have been approved by the CMC but are not yet on the website. Jennifer Dunnam noted that these items have not yet been approved by ICEB but FM D'Andrea and Jen Goulden will bring this up at the executive meeting in hopes of creating a clear process to ensure that all changes and updates are publicized appropriately.

The apostrophe/single quote issue is on the agenda for the executive committee, the survey results are in but a final determination has not been made. There were over 600 responses to the question with over 300 of those from the United States and Canada. Kim Charlson from ACB expressed thanks to ICEB for consulting braille readers and hopes that ICEB continues the practice as it is appropriate in the future.

8. Outreach Committee

Sandy Ruconich reported that she had a conversation with Cindi Laurent regarding the NBA Formats Friday webinars. Cindi thinks it is fine if BANA talks about something NBA was not able to cover but wants to be sure that correct information is given.

Sandy solicited guidance from the Board about future topics and the method of communication that should be used. She would like to do something prior to the November BANA meeting but that may not be feasible. Discussion turned to the efficacy of the Open Forum and the fact that outreach to the braille community needs to be retooled. Tamara Rorie proposed presenting a 15-30 minute podcast on a particular subject. Jennifer Dunnam and Kim Charlson agree that this would be a good method, NFB and ACB are familiar with the process and set-up. Jennifer suggested that this is within the purview of the Outreach Committee to pursue.

9. Committee appointments that will be needed this Fall

Chairs should be thinking now about the potential need for committee appointments and should let the liaisons know so that the Appointments Committee can be ready to assist with finding new members.

Saul Garza reported that Cindi Laurent needs clarification about her ability to add or not add members to the committees since it has been placed in maintenance mode.

Greta Hoesley reports that the Crafts and Hobbies Committee will need new members especially to work on the Chess Code but she is not sure what classification of members are needed. The specifics of committee composition are listed in the Bylaws and Policy documents, committee chairs should have that information. If they do not, it can be shared with them.

Please contact Tracy Gaines with committee needs by email or phone, sooner rather than later.

10. Awards Committee

Sandy Ruconich reported that there were zero nominations for awards this year. The criteria states that if there is someone from the previous biennium that did not receive the award, that that name should be considered again. A lengthy discussion ensued regarding awarding Larry Smith versus the entire Music Code committee the Braille Excellence Award to be presented at the Getting in Touch with Literacy conference. It was determined that the nomination was for Larry Smith as an individual.

Debbie Willis has retired from APH, Cathy Senft-Graves will look into getting a phone number for Sandy. Sandy will call the remaining committee members and revisit the nomination for Larry Smith and present a motion to be voted on electronically by the Board. Jennifer Dunnam emphasized that this is a confidential process and the information should not be shared with individuals not on the Board.

11. Nominations Reminder

Kim Charlson was re-added to the Nominations Committee. The Nominations Committee puts forward a nomination of candidates for the various offices of BANA (Chair, Vice-Chair, Secretary, and Treasurer) 30 days prior to the Fall meeting. The Board votes on the proposed slate at the Fall meeting, changes go into effect January 1 of the following year.

12. Documents-in-process Updates

A. Provisional Chemistry guidelines

FM D'Andrea reported that she has the final version of the document and will get with Jen Goulden to get a final document released.

B. Standardized Test Guidelines

Jennifer Dunnam reported that the survey is complete. The responses will be collated by the Review Committee and given to the Standardized Test committee for their response to the survey responses.

C. ELMP Guidelines

Cathy Senft-Graves reported that feedback from the four members of the review panel has been sent to Bonnie Read. She has indicated that she will not be able to respond until the end of September but could potentially have a response in time for the Fall meeting.

D. Foreign Language Guidelines

Carol Greer and Rebecca Sherwood are actively working on the guidelines and will keep BANA posted on the timing.

E. Formats

Saul Garza reports that Cindi Laurent and Susan Christianson should be ready for final publication by the end of next week. Mary Nelle McLennan indicates that final files will be turned over to APH when ready. It has been determined that InGrid will not be working on the HTML and PDF versions of the Formats documents. These will be done by volunteer BANA staff or some other entity. The timeframe for completion is not known at this time.

F. Other Updates

Cathy Senft-Graves reported that the Music Braille hard copy is slated to be produced this month.

Greta Hoesley indicated that the Crafts and Hobbies committee is stuck on the Chess Code and does not know if they should proceed using UEB or not. Jennifer Dunnam has information for the committee and will send it to Greta to help the committee move forward.

13. Strategic Imperatives From Spring Meeting

Mary Nelle McLennan sent two emails: the first reiterated the team makeups and the second was the "2017 Top Two BANA Strategic Imperatives" (not attached, see BANA-L). The strategic questions and resulting work groups are:

BANA's Strategic Question on Two Technical Codes: What actions BANA should take to address perspectives and issues concerning two technical codes?

Work Group Co-chairs: Saul Garza and Diane Spence. Personnel: Darleen Bogart, Kim Charlson, FM D'Andrea, Jennifer Dunnam, Sandy Ruconich, Cathy Senft-Graves, Jackie Sheridan

BANA's Strategic Question on Providing Codes and Resources: What actions should BANA take to more effectively develop, maintain, and update codes and resources and provide them to the community in a timely manner?

Work Group Co-chairs: Tracy Gaines and Jessi Rivera. Personnel: Maryann Bartkowski, Jen Goulden, Dawn Gross, Mary Nelle McLennan, Tamara Rorie, Vivian Seki, Guy Toles.

Mary Nelle requested that the co-chairs stay on the call at the end of the meeting to plan a conference call time.

14. Other Business

No other business was presented.

15. Adjourn

MSC Sandra Ruconich moved and Tamara Rorie seconded that the meeting be adjourned. The motion carried.

Jennifer Dunnam adjourned the meeting at 2:30 p.m. EDT.

Respectfully submitted,
Dawn Gross, Secretary