Press Release

January 4, 2014—Anniversary of Louis Braille's Birth

For Immediate Release

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

Developers of Tactile Graphics Guidelines and Standards
Honored with BANA's Braille Excellence Award

The international committee that developed the landmark publication Guidelines and Standards for Tactile Graphics, 2010 was recently honored with the Braille Excellence Award from the Braille Authority of North America (BANA). CBA-BANA Joint Tactile Graphics Committee, which was co-sponsored by the Canadian Braille Authority (CBA) and BANA, received the award on December 5 in Providence, Rhode Island, in a showcase session at the 2013 Getting in Touch with Literacy Conference.

The volunteer members of this collaborative CBA-BANA ad hoc committee donated their time and talents for nearly a decade, meeting by phone almost weekly year round. Together, they defined, refined, and established in writing a comprehensive, user-friendly set of research-based guidelines and standards for the design and production of tactile graphics for braille users.

The members of the CBA-BANA Joint Committee on Tactile Graphics honored with BANA's Braille Excellence Award are:

Lucia Hasty, Colorado, USA
John McConnell, New Brunswick, Canada
Janet Milbury, Nova Scotia, Canada
Irene Miller, Alberta, Canada
Allison O'Day, Minnesota, USA
Aquinas Pather, Ontario, Canada
Diane Spence, Texas, USA

The publication of Guidelines and Standards for Tactile Graphics, 2010, which includes a manual and an accompanying supplement that contains hardcopy examples, was approved by BANA in the fall of 2010. The manual is available free of charge on the BANA website at Hardcopy editions of the manual and the supplement can be purchased from the American Printing House for the Blind.

The BANA Braille Excellence Award was established in 2009 to commemorate the bicentenary of Louis Braille's birth by recognizing individuals and groups who have made significant contributions to braille. It was presented to Dr. Abraham Nemeth in 2009 and to Mr. Joseph Sullivan in 2011.

The extraordinary commitment and contribution of the CBA-BANA Joint Tactile Graphics Committee will have an immeasurable impact for braille readers. Their work and dedication are truly representative of the accomplishments that BANA's Braille Excellence Award was designed to recognize.

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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.