[nfb-talk] (Press release on NLS transition to Unified English Braille)
dandrews at visi.com
Tue Feb 3 20:44:32 UTC 2015
>The Library of Congress issued the following
>press release on January 16, 2015. It is provided for your use and information.
>Braille and Talking-Book Program Embraces New Braille Code
>Unified English Braille Makes Print-to-Braille Translation Easier
>The National Library Service for the Blind and
>Physically Handicapped (NLS), part of the
>Library of Congress, next year will implement
>the Unified English Braille (UEB) code on Jan.
>4, 2016the 207th birthday of Louis Braille.
>This is the first extensive change to the
>English braille code, a major literacy tool,
>since the 1930s, said NLS Director Karen
>Keninger. The new code will be especially
>beneficial to students and other users of
>technology. It resolves persistent translation
>errors that occur when, for example, a students
>work is translated to print for a teacher to
>read, or when print material is translated to
>braille. Those who use computers, smartphones,
>e-books and texting features will find it very useful.
>The code, which has been adopted by seven other
>English-speaking countries, brings the braille
>code into the computer age. UEB is not much
>different from the English Braille American
>Edition that weve been using, Keninger said.
>UEB uses the same six-dot cell pattern as the
>present code, but drops some contractions, uses
>different spacing rules and allows for
>transliterating a wider array of symbols.
>The Braille Authority of North America
>(BANA)which oversees the use, teaching and
>production of braille in the United
>Statesadopted the code in November 2012. It
>then began preparing constituents for the change
>to ensure implementation in 2016. Since many
>BANA members produce braille or transcribe
>braille, the NLS announcement will not be a
>surprise. They have already been preparing,
>said Judy Dixon, NLS consumer relations officer and NLS representative to BANA.
>Beginning Jan. 4, 2016, all books added to the
>braille collection will be produced in UEB.
>Current patrons should make the transition
>easily as the new code builds on the old
>system, said Keninger. Existing braille books
>will remain in the collection and be available.
>The UEB books are not expected to be available
>from the collection for at least six months.
>Patrons will not need to change their equipment.
>NLS administers the braille and talking-book
>program, a free library service available to
>U.S. residents and American citizens living
>abroad whose low vision, blindness or physical
>disability makes reading regular materials
>difficult. Through its national network of
>libraries, NLS mails books and magazines in
>audio and braille formats and digital audio
>equipment directly to enrollees at no cost.
>Music instructional materials are also
>available. Selected materials may be downloaded.
>For more information, visit
>call 1-888-NLS-READ (1-888-657-7323).
>The Library of Congress, the nations oldest
>federal cultural institution and the largest
>library in the world, holds more than 158
>million items in various languages, disciplines
>and formats. The Library serves the U.S.
>Congress and the nation both on-site in its
>reading rooms on Capitol Hill and through its
>award-winning website at www.loc.gov<http://www.loc.gov>.
>For more information contact:
>Head, Publications and Media Section
>jcau at loc.gov<mailto:jcau at loc.gov>
David Andrews and long white cane Harry.
E-Mail: dandrews at visi.com or david.andrews at nfbnet.org
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