[blindkid] Fwd: [Blindtlk] A UEB Story

Carol Castellano carol_castellano at verizon.net
Fri May 8 13:15:37 UTC 2015

Well done!  Taught me a lot!

At 03:44 PM 5/7/2015, you wrote:
>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>
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Carol Castellano
Parents of Blind Children-NJ
Director of Programs
National Organization of Parents of Blind Children
carol_castellano at verizon.net

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