January 4, 2016 is the official implementation date for Unified English Braille (UEB) in the United States, replacing English Braille American Edition (EBAE) at that time. This date was selected because it is also the birthday of Louis Braille and World Braille Day. This page offers links to various resources about the changes in the braille code, including tools for learning more, tips for remembering the changes, and lessons to help braille students make the transition to UEB.
- What is UEB?
- How will the transition occur?
- Rules and Guidelines for UEB
- Overview of the rules and changes in UEB
- Charts, Cheat Sheets and Tools for Remembering Changes in UEB
- Resources for Learning UEB
- Online Classes for Adults
- Online Classes for Braille Transcribers
- Teaching Braille Students to Make the Transition from EBAE to UEB
- Webcasts and Videos about UEB
- Additional Online Resources on UEB
Unified English Braille is a code developed by the International Council on English Braille (ICEB) to bring together several existing braille codes into one unified code for the English-speaking world. The proliferation of different braille codes has long been recognized as a problem and the adoption of UEB seeks to simplify the issue by creating a standard code for braille in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, Ireland, South Africa, Nigeria, and Singapore. The unified code can be used for both literary and technical materials.
The transition has already taken place in much of the world, and the adoption of UEB by the United States in 2016 will complete the implementation across the English-speaking world. The transition itself is a complex one, as it necessitates training and changes in many areas, including training teachers and transcribers, updating braille users, including adults and students, and publishing new textbooks and instructional materials. Many braille users have already been learning the new code, and books have already started to be published in UEB. More information about transition plans can be found on the BANA (Braille Authority of North America) site: Planning the Implementation of UEB
The American Printing House for the Blind (APH) has its own policies for the transition to UEB, which can be found on its website.
The member nations include:
- Australian Braille Authority: http://brailleaustralia.org/unified-english-braille/
- The Braille Authority of New Zealand Aotearoa Trust (BANZAT): http://banzat.org.nz/BrailleCodes.htm
- Braille Authority of North America (BANA): http://www.brailleauthority.org/ueb.html
- National Braille Council of Nigeria
- South Africa
- United Kingdom Association for Accessible Formats (UKAAF): http://www.ukaaf.org/braille/ueb/
- The Rules of UEB, edited by Christine Simpson and published by International Council on English Braille (2013)
- ABCs of UEB (BANA)
- Hitchhiker's Guide to UEB (New Zealand)
- "UEB Ain't Hard to Do" is a little ditty by Judy Matsuoka of Hadley School for the Blind listing the 9 contractions that go away at the end of 2015 when UEB becomes the standard Braille code.
- UEB Ain't Hard To Do. Click here to listen to NYC TVI Mark Brady singing!
There are different reasons for wanting to learning UEB, and different types of students. The resources listed here are for those who are already proficient in EBAE (English Braille American Edition), for transcribers, and for school-age students using braille.
- Introduction to Unified English Braille (Wisconsin Center for the Blind and Visually Impaired)
- UEB Online Free online course for sighted adults from the Royal Institute for Deaf and Blind Children (RIDBC) in Australia.
- UEBOT (Unified English Braille Online Training) This free 4-week online training from Northern Illinois University is designed for people who are already proficient in braille who wish to learn UEB.
- UEB Transition (Hadley School for the Blind)
- Unified English Braille Australian Training Manual (2014)
- RNIB Certificate in Contracted Braille (UEB)
UEB Curriculum for Braille Students is a series of ten lessons to teach students who are braille readers to make the transition to UEB. All lessons are by Catherine Summ and Suzanne Cappiello, who both work as Education Consultants for the Department of Rehabilitative Services (DORS-BESB) in CT. Lessons include:
- UEB Lesson 1: Eliminated EBAE Part Word Contractions No Longer Used in UEB
- UEB Lesson 2: Eliminated EBAE Part Word Contractions No longer Used in UEB
- UEB Lesson 3: New Spacing in UEB
- UEB Lesson 4: Typeform Indicators Used in UEB
- UEB Lesson 5: Punctuation Used in UEB
- UEB Lesson 6: Miscellaneous Symbols
- UEB Lesson 7: Period, Decimal and Dot Used in UEB
- UEB Lesson 8: Capitalization Used in UEB
- UEB Lesson 9: Grade 1 Symbol Indicator used in UEB
- UEB Lesson 10: Computer Notation used in UEB
BRL2 Publishing: Braille Literacy Materials for Teachers of the Visually Impaired
UEB Too is a program designed to teach UEB to students. It can either be used in conjunction with the original Braille Too curriculum for students learning braille with Braille Too, or used as a stand-alone program with students who are already competent readers in EBAE. It is on a USB drive that includes both the print for teachers and the braille (in Duxbury) for students, allowing individual teachers to make multiple copies if they need them (although copyright restrictions require each teacher to have their own USB drive). The cost is $60 plus shipping.
A Brief Overview of UEB
Presented by Frances Mary D'Andrea
Introduction to Unified English Braille is a six-part video series from Wisconsin Center for the Blind and Visually Impaired that provides an overview of the changes that come with the transition to Unified English Braille.
UEB Ready? A series of 8 videos from PATINS Project
UEB Ready? Webinars for special education directors, teachers, paraprofessionals and families from Indiana Center for Accessible Materials
If you or your organization has created other resources about UEB that you would like to share, please contact us: firstname.lastname@example.org or post in the comment section below.