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Activity and strategy

Teaching Ideas for UEB Typeform Indicators

Lesson to teach UEB (Unified English Braille) typeform indicators to students who are blind or visually impaired

Those pesky new UEB indicators are sometimes overwhelming and everybody seems to forget what they are. Here’s an idea to help teach them.



Braille cards with bold, italics, underline, and capital


  • Make the first set of cards for: bold (dots 4,5), italics (dots 4,6), underline (dots 4,5,6), and capital (dot 6), if you would like to teach it at this time. 



  • The second set of cards is to indicate character (dots 5,6), word (dot 5), or passage (dots 2,3,5,6). If you are teaching the capitals sign, make 2 additional cards with dot 6.Colored braille cards with single, word, passage, terminator


  • The third set of cards can either have just the termination symbol (dot 3) or the full termination sign including the bold, italics, underline and capital along with the dot 3.


  • To make the dots, use the dot symbol for the dots that are used and the low relief circle for the unused dots. On the first set of the cards, make the cell on the bottom right of the card. On the second set, make the cell on the bottom left of the card, trying to line up in a similar area to the first set on the whole of the card. I used clear-colored relief circles and colored dots to make the cells.




Teaching Guidelines:

At first focus on just mastery creating the various combinations of the first 2 sets of cards. After they have this down, then introduce the termination sign. I suggest teaching it only in reference to the passage sign at first. When they show mastery of these skills, use the Lesson 4 Typeform Indicators from Paths to Literacy UEB Lesson Plans to take the skill down to real-sized braille.  When they get to Lesson 4, they will understand why they would also need to terminate the word symbols as well.

Instruction of just first 2 sets of cards:

Mix and match!!!! Line up the first set of cards vertically. Then team them with the 2nd set of cards to make each combination. Bold word, bold character, bold passage, etc.

Guided Practice

  1. The teacher can put them together first and ask what they are.
  2. Second the teacher can ask the student to add the correct symbol for one of the sets of cards. “What do I add to the bold symbol if I want to make one letter bold?”, etc.

Assess mastery

The teacher can mix the cards up and have the students show how they would indicate the various combinations (bold word, italicized passage, etc.).

Instruction of termination sign:

When they show mastery of these, then ask, “how are we going to tell the reader we’re done with that passage?” After they’ve thought a while and realize that would be a problem, introduce the termination sign. Focus at first only on the passage termination. During Lesson 4, they will find out why they would need it to terminate the word indicator as well. It will make better sense then.


As my student worked on Lesson 4, she referred to the cards to help remember the combinations. By the end of the guided practice, she did not have to refer to them very much.
Good luck and have fun!

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Activity and strategy