National Braille Production at ChildVision, the Media Centre at the NCBI and the Braille Unit at Arbour Hill prison announce the launch of INBAF, the Irish National Braille and Alternative Format Association on May 3rd 2012.
INBAF is the first Irish organisation to advise about rules, layout and best practice for the Irish and English braille codes used in Ireland. INBAF will also be available to help anyone with large print rules and rules for other alternative formats, i.e. audio files, more complex mp3 files and emerging new formats
“INBAF can provide help and advice to producers of alternative formats, educational establishments providing alternative formats and readers of alternative formats in Ireland. For the first time, Irish interests in this area will also be directly represented by INBAF internationally”, says the out-going chairperson of INBAF, Ilka Stäglin.
INBAF will now offer advice on the implementation of the Unified English Braille (UEB) code. The UEB was developed by a working group of The International Council on English Braille over the past 15 years. The aim of UEB is to have one English Braille code worldwide. This implies that there will be changes to the current English Braille code that is taught and produced in Ireland.
INBAF will be looking at when and how UEB might be introduced in Ireland and to ensure that any transition will be well prepared. Braille is also used worldwide in connection with handheld electronic devices that can connect to an Ipad and the technology subgroup of INBAF will be able to advise.
The work of INBAF will start straight after the launch with the formation of a working group on Irish braille who will review and update the Irish braille code in line with new developments in the world of braille.
INBAF would like to thank the CEOs of the NCBI, Desmond Kenny, of ChildVision, Brian Allen, and the governor of Arbour Hill Prison, Liam Dowling, for encouraging the development of the authority, which will work for and on behalf of users of alternative formats nationwide.
INBAF has full support of the International Council on English Braille, as well as UKAAF, the UK Association for Alternative Formats, who have both been very helpful to their new Irish counterpart.