For Immediate Release
CONTACT: Frances Mary D'Andrea, Chair
Braille Authority of North America
The Braille Authority of North America (BANA), at its November 8–10 meeting in Louisville, Kentucky, affirmed January 4, 2016, as the date by which the United States will implement the general use of Unified English Braille (UEB). This action was based on a year of dialogue and planning that included the UEB Transition Forum, held on October 16. The forum, which involved 48 delegates representing 31organizations from the braille community, was structured to help organizations craft the steps and timetable through which the United States will make an effective transition to Unified English Braille.
The decision to adopt UEB in the United States was made by a decisive vote of the BANA Board on November 2, 2012. The full motion is posted on the BANA website at http://www.brailleauthority.org/motion-adopt-ueb-0.
BANA recognizes that the implementation of UEB will require major adjustments to the infrastructures that produce, deliver, and teach braille, as well as time and strategies for braille users to become familiar with changes in the code. BANA continues to work with leaders throughout the field to build a carefully designed timeline and coordinated plan. Detailed timelines are under development by individual organizations, and transition efforts are now being initiated. BANA stands ready to collaborate with the braille community as it builds and adapts the infrastructure necessary for a smooth transition to UEB.
For additional resource information, visit www.brailleauthority.org
The Board of BANA consists of appointed representatives from seventeen 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.