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APH creates Policies regarding Unified English BrailleTransition (UEB)
Timeline given for adoption of UEB at American Printing House for the Blind
By: American Printing House for the Blind, Inc
In November 2012, the Braille Authority of North America (BANA) voted to adopt Unified English Braille (UEB) as an official code for the United States. The formal motion approved reads as follows:
"Therefore, it is moved that the Braille Authority of North America (BANA) adopts Unified English Braille to replace the current English Braille American Edition in the United States while maintaining the Nemeth Code for Mathematics and Science Notation, 1972 Revision; the Music Braille Code 1997; and the IPA Braille Code, 2008. The official braille codes for the United States will be Unified English Braille, Nemeth Code for Mathematics and Science Notation, 1972 Revision and published updates; Music Braille Code, 1997; and The IPA Braille Code, 2008."
In October 2013, BANA conducted its first UEB Transition Forum, which was held concurrently with APH’s Annual Meeting. This meeting of representatives designated by organizations directly involved in the adoption of UEB was convened to facilitate the planning of a coordinated transition between existing braille codes and UEB. Participants at this meeting collectively chose the date of January 4, 2016, as the date by which most phases of the transition to UEB will be completed or plans for completion will be in place. This date, Louis Braille’s birthday, was affirmed by BANA at its November 2013 meeting.
Following these votes, APH has been engaged in analyzing what this change will mean for the textbooks and educational materials APH provides to students who are blind and visually impaired in the United States and its outlying areas. General information on APH’s UEB Transition Plan is indicated below.
Orders for textbooks in subjects using literary braille (i.e., social studies and language arts), not previously transcribed, will be produced in UEB for the 2015-16 school year.
Orders for textbooks in technical subjects (i.e., science and mathematics)
Textbooks previously transcribed will be available in their original codes, following APH’s policy of not duplicating previously transcribed textbooks and supplementary materials.
APH will transcribe assessment materials in the codes requested by customers who contract with APH to make assessments accessible in hardcopy and/or refreshable braille. APH recognizes that assessment materials must be available in the code that is used most efficiently by each test taker (as indicated on his/her Individual Education Plan or 504 Plan). APH is committed to providing multiple formats for these high stakes assessments.
APH will gradually transition instructional and assessment-related catalog products and materials to UEB and UEB with Nemeth Code throughout the next several years.
The American Printing House for the Blind is committed to the highest standards of access to educational materials, textbooks, and assessments for students who are blind and visually impaired. APH remains committed to its customers and partners, and looks forward to working collaboratively as the United States transitions to Unified English Braille.
About the American Printing House for the Blind
The American Printing House for the Blind, a 501(c) (3) non-profit organization, is the world's largest nonprofit company devoted solely to researching, developing, and manufacturing products for people who are blind or visually impaired. Founded in 1858, it is the oldest organization of its kind in the United States. Under the 1879 federal Act to Promote the Education of the Blind, APH is the official supplier of educational materials for visually impaired students in the U.S. who are working at less than college level. APH was recently named Kentucky Mid-sized Manufacturer of the year.
APH manufactures textbooks and magazines in braille, large print, recorded, and digital formats. APH also makes hundreds of educational, recreational, and daily living products including computer software and an array of assistive technology items.