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Press Release
August 2012
For Immediate Release

CONTACT: Frances Mary D'Andrea, Chair
Braille Authority of North America
Phone: 412-521-5797


BANA to Vote about Braille Code in November

At its fall 2012 meeting, which will be held November 2nd through 4th, the Braille Authority of North America will take a vote that will set the course for the future of braille codes in the United States. The direction under consideration is the adoption of Unified English Braille while maintaining the Nemeth Code for technical materials.

"We need to make improvements to reduce barriers that hinder timely and accurate braille transcription and to ensure that braille will remain a flexible, robust system that meets the needs of people who read and write braille in this digital age," said Frances Mary D'Andrea, Chair of BANA. "If the motion is approved, it would be the first step in the decision-making process, which will include developing a carefully formulated plan for transition and implementation of the code while as much as possible avoiding disruption for current braille readers."

The Board of BANA consists of appointed representatives from fifteen member organizations of braille producers, transcribers, teachers, and consumers. Detailed information about the background of the code issues can be found in the article "Evolution of Braille: Can the Past Help Plan the Future?" Links to this article are available on the BANA website home page at Print and braille copies of this article are available upon request. Please send an email to, providing your postal mailing address and stating if you want a print or braille copy.

Additional information about UEB can be found at the website of the International Council on English Braille at

Details about the fall BANA Board meeting, to be hosted by the Braille Institute of America in Los Angeles, will be announced in the coming weeks. For additional resource information, visit


The mission and purpose of the Braille Authority of North America are to assure literacy for tactile readers through the standardization of braille and/or tactile graphics. BANA promotes and facilitates the use, teaching, and production of braille. It publishes rules, interprets, and renders opinions pertaining to braille in all existing codes. It deals with codes now in existence or to be developed in the future, in collaboration with other countries using English braille. In exercising its function and authority, BANA considers the effects of its decisions on other existing braille codes and formats; the ease of production by various methods; and acceptability to readers.