[blindkid] Fwd: [Blindtlk] A UEB Story

Arielle Silverman arielle71 at gmail.com
Thu May 7 19:44:13 UTC 2015

This is hilarious!

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: "Hyde, David W. (ESC) via blindtlk" <blindtlk at nfbnet.org>
Date: Thu, 7 May 2015 19:30:52 +0000
Subject: [Blindtlk] A UEB Story
To: "Blind Talk Mailing List (blindtlk at nfbnet.org)" <blindtlk at nfbnet.org>
Cc: "Hyde, David W. (ESC)" <david.hyde at wcbvi.k12.wi.us>

Sometimes I see things that just beg to be passed along. For those who
do not read braille, I am sorry to say the following post will make
little sense. For those of us beginning the transition from English
Braille American Edition (EBAE) to Unified English Braille (UEB) it
has a bit of humor. For what it is worth, here it is.


By Sally Martin

(Aka the teacher formerly known as dot 6 S dot 6 Y)

Dedicated to Jason Vo and Cameron Knotts

Miss Sally and Miss Karen walked out over the grounds of the braille
apocalypse. They scanned the area and saw nine green tents.  "Those
must be where the contractions that are no longer usable are going to
die," Miss Karen surmised.

They scanned the field and saw AND, OF, THE, FOR and WITH looking
lost. AND kept trying to hug WITH but WITH was shouting, "We can't do
this anymore!"

Miss Karen and Miss Sally knew that they would need to talk to the
"strongman" contractions.

Miss Karen put on her stern teacher face and told them they could no
longer snuggle together.  AND protested, "I've been cuddly my whole
existence!  It isn't fair!"   Miss Sally patted AND on the dots and
said, "We know.  This change is hard.  It will be difficult at first
but we will all get used to it."  AND pouted but stood alone.  THE,
FOR, and WITH seemed near tears but stood strong and alone.  "We'll
still be close to other letters when we're used in words," The said.
"It isn't the same!" AND lamented. "It will have to do," said THE with
a finality in his tone.

"Let's leave them for a bit and look in on the tents," Miss Sally
suggested. "I suppose we should," Miss Karen said as she led the way.

BLE was in the first tent.  A thermometer hung from his mouth.  He saw
the TVIs and immediately began his delirious rant.  "I'm not that
easily confused with the number indicator.  I'm not bad for the
reader.  I'm not!  I want to be part of UEB!!  It can't end like

Miss Karen and Miss Sally exchanged a knowing glance.  "We are so
sorry BLE, you will become a zombie contraction," Miss Sally delivered
the grave news.  "What does that even mean?" BLE asked in a panicky
tone. "It means you will continue to be read in old Braille but we
won't use you when we write new Braille.  It isn't really death but
you aren't really alive anymore either. " Miss Karen explained in a
calm voice.  "Will I eat brains?" BLE asked.  Miss Karen and Miss
Sally laughed and thought to themselves that the change would kind of
eat the brains of the transcribers who were new to UEB.  However, the
readers would be just fine.   Miss Sally answered, "No, you won't eat
brains. You'll get used to being a zomie though.  Try to think of it
as retired instead of dead.  You'll have way less work to do. "    BLE
seemed calm as the TVIs left to go to the next tent.

The next tent was the first of the "cling ons".  Little TO was in his
cot, looking rather pathetic.  "I know, I know, there's probably no
saving me.  I was never all that great at saving space anyway," he
said with resignation.  Miss Karen replied, "You were everywhere.
Sure, you weren't saving that much space but you did a lot of good
work.  We'll still see you in old Braille but when we write new we
will have to spell out T-O.   The TVIs parted and headed to the next

BY was waiting in the next tent and he had a similar reaction as to.
He seemed to know his days were numbered.  "The best thing I can do is
accept my fate and hope I don't scare any little readers when they see
me doing a zombified cling on move in old Braille text," he sighed but
looked accepting.  Miss Karen and Miss Sally gave him a big hug and
thanked him for his selfless dedication to little readers.  "Don't
worry, we'll explain it to the kids that all you zombies were heroes.
You've all sacrificed yourselves in hopes to create better Braille for

The next tent was shaking.  INTO seemed restless and frightened. "I
don't know what to think!  On the one hand my IN lives on.  On the
other hand we all know TO doesn't make it.   What's to become of me?"
He shook as he asked.  The TVIs knew they had some explaining to do.
Miss Sally used her most comforting voice and said, "IN will live on.
However, TO is now spelled out.  The word INTO will still have the in
contraction but the TO will be spelled out.  Also, there will be no
more clinging."    INTO let out a huge sob and whined, "Clinging was
my favorite part of my job.   I'm a snuggly type.   This will be
awful!"   Miss Karen attempted to cheer him up and explained, "You'll
still cling and snuggle in the old text but you'll have to follow the
space rules going forward."   INTO conceded, "I suppose we have to
follow the space rules.  As much as I like snuggling, I love Braille
readers more than anything so we will just have to put them first."
The TVIs were grateful and parted, feeling like the contractions were
being really great sports.

In the next tent the TVIs found COM hiding under his blanket.  "COM,
we need to talk to you.  Things are changing and we know you're scared
but let us explain.   You were getting confused with the hyphen and
the new Braille is going to eliminate some of that confusion."    COM
popped his head out and pleaded, "The readers have always figured me
out."   Miss Sally agreed, "They usually did but there are also issues
with back translation.  We thought about it long and hard and this is
what is best for our future. We surely do appreciate your service and
we'll be sure to tell kids how well you served us all."   COM seemed
to accept his fate.

DD popped his head out of the tent as the TVI's walked up.  "Don't
come in.  I already know I can't carry on because I look too much like
punctuation.  Obviously the period beat me out.  He's everywhere!
Everywhere!"  DD zipped his tent closed and the TVIs decided to move
right along.

At ATION's tent there was a thudding sound.  As the TVIs went in they
realized ATION was trying desperately to raise her dot six.  Miss
Sally intervened and explained that the dot six could not be changed
and it was too confusing to have what looked like a capital indicator
in the middle of a word. ATION stopped her thumping and looked
defeated. Miss Karen offered further words of comfort, explaining that
back translating was difficult when two symbols meant different
things.  ATION asked how often that was even an issue.  Miss Karen
explained that technology was becoming a primary means to produce and
read Braille.  ATION let the TVIs tuck her into bed.

The weary teachers walked over to the o'clock tent.  O'CLOCK was
packing a bag with sunscreen and shorts.  The TVIs asked what o'clock
was doing.  O'CLOCK replied, "I'm not crying over less work.  I'm out
of here; I'm heading to Florida.  I'm not sad that my work is done!"
The TVIs chuckled and wished him well.

Before entering the last tent Miss Sally looked like she was going to
cry. Miss Karen patted her on the back and said, "I know this one is
going to be hard for you."  They walked in and found ALLY weeping.
Miss Sally held ALLY's hand as she found the courage to tell her
favorite contraction the hard news.  "ALLY, you are a part of me, my
name just won't be the same without you.  I'm so very sad that you
won't make it."  ALLY and Sally shared a hug and the TVI's left the
tent, feeling accomplished.

They walked toward the main area of the camp and heard quite a ruckus.
Miss Karen wondered aloud, "What could that be?"  Miss Sally picked up
a monocular and looked out toward the gate of the camp.  "That's the
changes to composition and punctuation and indicators.  They look
restless.  What should we do, Karen?"  Miss Karen replied swiftly,

They ran as fast as they could but knew they would soon need to face
the remaining changes.  For the time being, they had done enough! The

David Hyde, Professional Development Coordinator
Wisconsin Center for the Blind and Visually Impaired
1700 W. State Street
Janesville WI  53546
608-758-6152 (office)
608-758-6169 (fax)
866-284-1107 ext. 34 (toll free)
david.hyde at wcbvi.k12.wi.us<mailto:david.hyde at wcbvi.k12.wi.us>
-------------- next part --------------
A non-text attachment was scrubbed...
Name: winmail.dat
Type: application/ms-tnef
Size: 20512 bytes
Desc: not available
URL: <http://nfbnet.org/pipermail/blindkid_nfbnet.org/attachments/20150507/0bb79c3a/attachment.bin>

More information about the blindkid mailing list