Monday, 2nd December, 2013
The Irish National Braille and Alternative Format Authority (INBAF) is delighted to announce the adoption of Unified English Braille (UEB) in Ireland. This follows a unanimous vote in favour of UEB at the most recent INBAF committee meeting and has been fully acknowledged by the Department of Education and Skills (DES). The founding members of INBAF include National Braille Production Childvision, NCBI and Arbour Hill.
Ireland is the last country from the International Council of English Braille (ICEB) to adopt UEB. This will bring Ireland in line with other members of ICEB, namely; the UK, New Zealand, Australia, the USA, South Africa, Canada and Nigeria.
“The adoption of UEB means that blind children in Ireland will now learn the new global, unified English braille code. Exchanging books and files with other English speaking countries will be much easier and the internet and social media will also be at their fingertips, as all modern braille devices now support UEB.” Says Ilka Staeglin, manager of National Braille Production, ChildVision and INBAF’s current chairperson.
UEB is fully based on the existing English braille code (Standard English Braille or SEB), with some significant changes. These changes will take away ambiguity from many difficult braille signs.
In practical terms, UEB will be introduced via the primary and secondary schools, as well as the Library Service at NCBI. DES and INBAF have set up a steering group to oversee the schedule of the implementation and to ensure that the transition will be very smooth for all.