Do you want to be kept up to date with the developments re United English Braille Code (UEB)?

I got sent this email yesterday. I have removed the names of the person it was from and was being sent to but thought i’d put it up here. I’ll give my comments in a minute but i’ll post the email first.

Fri, 10 Feb 2012 10:33:15 -0000
Do you want to be kept up to date with the developments re United English Braille Code (UEB)?
Dear ***

This News item is being circulated for your information. If you are interested in being kept up to date, please reply to Alan Thorpe direct at:

At the end of last year, UKAAF (the UK Association for Accessible Formats) voted to adopt the Unified English Braille code (UEB) for the United Kingdom.
The changes are not dramatic and it is hoped that the new code will make braille easier to learn, easier to convert into print, and easier to share with
other English Speaking Countries amongst other things. If you would like to find out more about the adoption of UEB then please visit the Frequently Asked
Questions section on the UKAAF website:

If you would like to see the differences between the current braille code and UEB these are also on the UKAAF website:

Although UEB has been adopted in the UK, implementation is still some way off. UKAAF has identified 2012 as a planning year when organisations will be
looking at:
A) Updating teaching and reading materials
B) UEB translation packages
C) Updating coding books
D) Exams
E) Training for teachers
F) Method of implementation

Also high on the list of issues identified by the UKAAF braille teachers group was that of effective communication with Braille teachers during the process.
We would therefore like to invite teachers who want to be kept up to date on the developments relating to UEB implementation to reply to this email. Please
send us your name, email address and job role.

The UKAAF braille teachers group will be compiling an email list and will then provide periodic updates on progress. So if you are able to respond with
your place of work, its location such as county, job role , who you teach such as children/adults, how many learners and any other information you think
we would find useful please reply to Alan Thorpe at


From what i can understand,

Is so that each english speaking country has only one code to go by. This is to make it cheaper to reproduce or something.

It has caused alot of outcry and a couple of years ago there was a consultation released about it but they obviously ignored this. I think there is nothing wrong with the systim we use now and it has been this way for hundreds of years. Yes we don’t use things like capitals, but if you are in a class with sighted peers you are going to pick up on when to use a capital letter etc.

In fact when i was using my Livejournal blog, I thought it would put the capitals in for me and when i asked for it to be reviewed, i discovered there was no capitals at all and got a very rude response about not including capitals. Up until then i had no idea that my entries weren’t in capitals and went back and corrected each entry. I always make sure that all capitals are in the right place now.

A couple of weeks ago,
Radio 4’s Intouch program
Covered the topic. I think it should still be available
But you can only read the factsheet from that date.

I sent off this email to the person who will be compiling the list of people to send updates to, and although the orriginal email is for teachers, it’s not teachers who will be using the new systim if it changes.

Dear Alan

I received an email from someone yesterday regarding being kept up to date with the developments of Unified english braille. I know this is mainly for teachers but i am a braille user myself and think it would be extremely useful to have this information.

I am strongly against this new systim and hope it won’t be implimented.



I don’t even think there is a petition available for us to sign.

Do any of you feel the same way about braille? Maybe it’s just me but why change something basically to appeal more to the sighted? I have written before about how
I got told
That i was using the wrong sign for a decimal point back when i was doing my GCSES at school which it turned out i wasn’t entered for anyway. I also remember one day i read a square route sign wrong and was made to lay out what a braille sell looked like and the sighted transcriber was braught down too. Would you humiliate someone like that if they read a print letter wrong?

So as you can probably guess, i am not a fan of having things done for the sighted transcriber when it comes to braille.

I really hope this new system doesn’t come into effect and hopefully there is a petition or something braille users can sign if they disagree with the changes.

Anyway i’m off for now. I’ll let you know if i get any updates on the matter.