[Nfb-announce] BANA Accepts Two New Member Organizations and Approves Addition to Nemeth Code

David Andrews dandrews at visi.com
Mon May 20 11:23:19 CDT 2013

Press Release
May 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
Recent Actions: BANA Accepts Two New Member Organizations and
Approves Addition to Nemeth Code
The Braille Authority of North America (BANA) 
held its 2013 spring meeting April 11 – 13 in 
Washington, D.C. The National Library Service for 
the Blind and Physically Handicapped (NLS), a 
BANA member organization, hosted the meeting at 
the Library of Congress. During its three-day 
meeting, the BANA Board reviewed and acted on 
semiannual reports from its eighteen committees, 
considered committee recommendations, and 
deliberated issues and challenges facing braille 
users and producers. The UEB Task Force reported 
on the development of a plan for the transition 
to UEB in the United States as well as the 
collaborative steps that have been taken to 
initiate dialogue and planning among the various 
braille communities that will be impacted. 
Actions taken at the Board Meeting included the 
following: The review and approval of a major 
revision of the organization’s entire set of 
bylaws and policies as recommended after intense 
study by the BANA Bylaws Committee. Approval of 
the applications for two new member 
organizations: the Council of Schools for the 
Blind (COSB) and the Hadley School for the Blind. 
BANA welcomes both of these organizations and 
looks forward to working with them. Approval of a 
recommendation from BANA’s Braille Mathematics 
Technical Committee that the following be added 
to the Nemeth Code: “Rule XIV, §86c. When the 
expression being modified is a single digit or a 
letter, lower-case or capitalized, from any 
alphabet, and in any type form, and when the 
modifier is the horizontal bar directly under 
such a single digit or letter, the digit or 
letter, followed by the directly under symbol and 
the bar, serves to express the modification. This 
construction should be regarded as a contracted 
form of expression and must be used whenever 
applicable. If the modification includes a 
superscript, subscript, or prime, the five-step 
rule of a above must be followed. The five-step 
rule may be used in conjunction with the 
contracted form without fear of confusion.” On 
Saturday morning, BANA hosted an Open Forum at 
the Arlington Public Library, Arlington, VA. The 
forum was quite well attended by DC area braille 
readers, students, and teachers. Participants 
also traveled from West Virginia and Maryland to 
attend. BANA Board members and forum participants 
engaged in a dynamic dialogue that centered on 
the characteristics of UEB and the coming 
transition. The tone of the forum was extremely 
upbeat with numerous questions and comments about 
the importance and future of braille; the 
well-spoken students added their individual and 
open-minded perspectives. For additional resource 
information, visit <http://www.brailleauthority.org>www.brailleauthority.org
The Board of BANA consists of appointed 
representatives from fifteen 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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