What is Unified English Braille?
Unified English Braille (UEB) is an English language braille code standard, developed to permit representing the wide variety of literary and technical material in use in the English-speaking world today, in uniform fashion. It is based on Standard English Braille (SEB), with some significant changes. These changes are designed to take away ambiguity and provide a braille code for the entire English-speaking world.
English speaking countries begin to implement the UEB code
South Africa adopted the UEB in May 2004. During the following year, the standard was adopted by Nigeria (February 5, 2005), Australia (May 14, 2005), and New Zealand (November 2005). On April 24, 2010, the Canadian Braille Authority (CBA) voted to adopt UEB.
On October 21, 2011, the UK Association for Accessible Formats voted to adopt the UEB code in the UK. 2015 is the year designated in the UK for the introduction of the new Unified English Braille code (UEB). In 2015 RNIB (along with other major braille producers in the UK) are transferring all braille production across to UEB. From 2016, all braille produced in the UK should be in Unified English Braille.
On November 2, 2012 the Braille Authority of North America (BANA) became the sixth of the seven member-countries of the ICEB to officially adopt the UEB. The Braille Authority of North America (BANA), at its November 8–10 2013 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).
On 2nd December, 2013 the Irish National Braille and Alternative Format Authority (INBAF) announced the adoption of Unified English Braille (UEB) in Ireland.
Benefits of implementing UEB
Among the benefits of implementing UEB reported by adopters are:
- UEB is very robust because it is well-researched and developed by braille experts over many years
- Merging of literary and technical braille codes means there is no need to learn two codes
- Ambiguity of braille signs is eliminated
- Harmonisation of numerous braille codes across English-speaking countries allows for the sharing of resources
- More accurate translation from print-to-braille and braille-to-print
In the long run it is hoped that UEB by reducing community fragmentation among English-speaking braille users, boosting the acquisition speed of reading/writing/teaching skill in the use of braille will help to preserve braille’s status as a useful writing-system for the blind in the English speaking world.
PharmaBraille is ready for the change to UEB
We have included a new Unified English Braille font in our braille font system which contains all the braille symbols necessary for pharmaceutical packaging. Our Unified English Braille Code page contains the current braille UEB code table and guidance on how to implement UEB on pharmaceutical cartons.