[blindkid] [BANA-Announce] BANA's UEB Transition Forum Brings Braille Leaders Together to Plan

Mary Nelle McLennan mary.nelle at earthlink.net
Sat Nov 2 18:41:47 UTC 2013


Press Release
October 31, 2013
For Immediate Release

CONTACT: Frances Mary D’Andrea, Chair
Braille Authority of North America
Phone: 412-521-5797
Email: <mailto:literacy2 at mindspring.com>literacy2 at mindspring.com
BANA’S UEB Transition Forum Brings Braille Leaders Together to Plan
Planning for the implementation of Unified 
English Braille (UEB) took a huge step forward on 
Wednesday, October 16, when the Braille Authority 
of North America convened 48 delegates 
representing 31 organizations from the braille 
community in a UEB Transition Forum in 
Louisville, KY. The Forum was a full day of 
collaborative planning designed to help delegates 
and their representative organizations determine 
the steps and timetable through which the United 
States will make an effective transition to Unified English Braille.
The Forum, organized and facilitated by BANA, 
provided the rare opportunity for delegates from 
various braille-related communities to meet 
face-to-face. The ambitious agenda focused on 
identifying specific actions and strategies 
required to develop plans for a smooth and effective implementation of UEB.
Forum planners recognize that the transition plan 
must take into consideration all aspects of 
using, learning, teaching, and producing braille. 
With that as a guiding principle, the Forum was 
organized into facilitated workgroups through 
which Forum delegates identified and prioritized 
actions needed in the following areas:
·         quality UEB training for transcribers, proofreaders, and educators;
·         the building of UEB transcription capacity;
·         system adjustments for the procurement 
and delivery of braille materials in UEB;
·         a smooth transition to UEB for 
children’s braille reading and writing instruction and educational assessments;
·         a smooth transition of adults’ braille 
instruction to UEB and increased knowledge of UEB 
among adults who already use braille.
The delegates to the Forum acknowledged that the 
transition to UEB will take time and necessitate 
extensive preparation and collaboration among all 
the systems and infrastructures involved. Their 
work on October 16 laid a foundation that will 
help leaders build a carefully crafted timeline 
and coordinated plan. Detailed timelines are 
under development by individual organizations, 
and transition efforts are now being initiated. 
The consensus of the delegates was that January 
2016 is a reasonable target date for the 
implementation of UEB. The work accomplished at 
the Forum will assist the braille community as it 
builds and adapts the infrastructure necessary to 
meet the proposed implementation date.
BANA’s UEB Task Force as well as the BANA Board 
will meet in early November in Louisville. At 
this meeting, they will discuss the transition to 
UEB with the goal of setting a definite 
implementation date, which will then be formally announced.
NOTE: This press release is available in HTML on 
the BANA website at 

For additional resource information, visit 
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.

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