BANA Spring Meeting Features Guest Presentations

Press Release
May 2012
For Immediate Release

CONTACT: Frances Mary D'Andrea, Chair
Braille Authority of North America
Phone: 412-521-5797


The Braille Authority of North America held its spring meeting in St. Louis, MO, from Saturday, April 28, through Monday, April 30. The National Braille Association, a BANA member, hosted the meeting in conjunction with its conference.

The BANA events began on Saturday morning with an Open Forum designed to provide an opportunity for attendees to participate in a round-table discussion about braille and to engage in a dialogue with the members of the BANA Board. The forum was well attended and provided a lively exchange of ideas around the topics of electronic files for braille production, standardized testing, and implications of code change in the United States.

The Board's three-day business meeting opened Saturday afternoon. This initial session included a segment dedicated to presentations by invited guests who focused on various aspects of code change. Unfortunately, just as the discussion portion of the session began, participants were evacuated to the hotel's basement while a tornado passed nearby.

The April 24 release of the new Braille Formats: Principles of Print-to-Braille Transcription, 2011 publication in three electronic versions was exciting news for the Board and observers. The Board recognized BANA's Braille Formats Technical Committee for its outstanding commitment and accomplishment.

In the months before the Board meeting, the Alternate Text Production Center (ATPC) of the California Community Colleges applied for full membership in BANA. After reviewing the extensive application, the BANA Board approved full membership for ATPC, and welcomed them into the organization. The Board also welcomed new board member Maryann Bartkowski who represents Horizons for the Blind, which was approved for full membership in November 2011.

BANA's next meeting will take place in early November 2012. The Braille Institute will host that meeting in Los Angeles, California.

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The mission and purpose of the Braille Authority of North America are to assure literacy for tactile readers through the standardization of braille and/or tactile graphics. BANA promotes and facilitates the use, teaching, and production of braille. It publishes rules, interprets, and renders opinions pertaining to braille in all existing codes. It deals with codes now in existence or to be developed in the future, in collaboration with other countries using English braille. In exercising its function and authority, BANA considers the effects of its decisions on other existing braille codes and formats; the ease of production by various methods; and acceptability to readers.