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International Council on English Braille (ICEB)
Braille in the news


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Quick links on this page: Upcoming events, What is braille?, On the value of braille, Braille technology, Braille success stories, Braille initiatives and legislation, Braille usages, Braille music, Braille leaders, Braille activities, competitions and events, Braille products, Campaigns for access to braille, Learning braille, Transition to UEB, International collaboration

Upcoming events

The International Conference on Innovative Practices and Research for Education and Rehabilitation of Persons with Visual Impairment aims to deliver an outstanding program for exchanging research and ideas in the field of visual impairment, education and rehabilitation. In addition to presentations and posters, an exhibition of assistive technolog and a book fair will be held during the conference days. The Conference will be held from 26 to 28 February 2020 in Lucknow, India. Online registration is available through the host organisation websites at dsmru.up.nic.in and www.nivh.gov.in.

CSUN is the largest assistive technology conference in the world, held annually in Anaheim, California, USA. The 2020 Conference will be held from 9 to 13 March. See csunconference.org or follow #CSUNATC20 on Twitter for the latest updates.

The Round Table on Information Access for People with Print Disabilities is an umbrella organisation with 35 members from the print disability sector across Australia and New Zealand. The next Annual Round Table Conference will be held in Melbourne, Australia, from Saturday 2 May to Tuesday 5 May. Proceedings will include the Annual Meeting of the Australian Braille Authority (ABA) and a braille workshop hosted by ABA. More information is available at printdisability.org/conference/.

The Canadian Vision Teachers' Conference (CVTC) 2020 welcomes teachers of students with visual impairments, Orientation and Mobility Instructors, Deafblind intervenors, accessible formats specialists, students, parents, researchers, health care practitioners, early childhood educators, community partners and agencies across Canada and beyond interested in the education, empowerment and advocacy of people with visual impairments. The Conference will be held from 6 to 8 May 2020 at the Sheraton Toronto Airport Hotel and Conference Centre, 801 Dixon road Toronto, Canada. Information is available at iplanprime.eventready.com.

ICEB holds a General Assembly once every four years. The next ICEB General Assembly will be held from 11 to 15 May 2020 at the Google Academy in central London. Each member country of ICEB is invited to send up to four delegates, and observers are warmly welcomed. One day of the Assembly will be devoted to paper presentations and an exhibition of braille innovations, technology and practice.

April 23 is World Book Day, a great day to read braille.

The World Blind Union (WBU) and International Council for Education of People with Vision Impairment (ICEVI) will hold their third joint General Assembly at the Hotel Marriott in Madrid, Spain, from 19 to 24 June 2020. The proceedings will include two days of paper presentations from 21 to 22 June. Registration is now open through the WBU and ICEVI Assembly pages.

The AER International Conference 2020 will bring together over 600 VRTs, Orientation and Mobility Specialists, TVIs, LVTs, advocates, scholars, policymakers, and other professionals. The Conference will be held from July 22 to 26 at the Union Station Hotel, St Louis MO, USA. The conference schedule is available at aerbvi.org/professional-development/conferences.

Vision2020 Dublin is the 13th International Low Vision Conference, to be hosted by the International Society for Low Vision Research and Rehabilitation from Sunday 12th to Wednesday 15th July 2020 at the Convention Centre Dublin, Ireland. Abstract submissions have been extended until 3 February 2020. More information is available at vision2020dublin.com.

World Braille Day is celebrated annually on January 4, Louis Braille's birthday.

The Tactile Reading Conference returns in 2021 after a very successful first conference in Sweden 2017. The conference will focus on braille and graphics, including digital aids for braille reading and the use of 3D-printed material. Topics will include early intervention and education for children, youth, and adults within the field of tactile reading. The Conference will be held on the 29th and 30th April 2021 in Oslo, Norway. A Pre-Conference on technology and aids for the blind and visually impaired will take place 28th of April 2021, organized by The Norwegian Library of Talking Books and Braille (NLB). Abstracts are due by 15 May 2020. See statped.no/tactilereading2021.

What is braille?

Braille on (classic) Sesame Street: Big Bird learns about braille. [December 2019]

BANA Braille Bits podcast - new episode out now with Jennifer Dunnam talking about the workings of the Braille Authority of North America and the future of braille. [January 2020]

Royal Blind have released online braille resources, to raise awareness in preparation for National Braille Week. [October 2019]

The fascinating story of the war of the dots and the search for a universal page. [July 2019]

On the value of braille

In "The Story of Reading Braille", adult braille reader Mary Beth Wagner makes a good case for the importance of early exposure to braille. "No child of a sighted child would be content with their child just listening to an audible recording." [March 2019]

We must continue to invest in braille. [February 2019]

Braille is the key to employment for blind people, with technology paving the way for more use of braille. [January 2019]

Research shows that braille literacy is key to life satisfaction and self-esteem in addition to academic and job success. [June 2018]

Tech helps Northern California's Vision Impaired gain Independence. But "tech should not be a substitute for literacy". [February 2018]

Research paper "The influence of braille literacy programme length on frequency of braille usage" provides new evidence from Croatia that students who receive longer braille literacy programmes go on to make more use of braille.

Batten report on educational interventions suggests that "Learning braille at an early age — before children lose the ability to read and write using their eyesight — may be key to maintaining children’s ability to read and write as they grow older." [November 2017]

Laura Hughes, founder of Moorvision, talks about why (and how) parents of vision impaired children should learn braille. [September 2017]

Is braille on life support? NO. Because braille = literacy, access to STEM and skills for the workplace. And because refreshable braille gives quicker and easier access to braille than ever before. [July 2017]

Braille as the ticket to freedom and independence: An article by the National Braille Press on Independence Day. [June 2017]

Grammy award winner Jose Feliciano: "Braille is an important language for the blind that cannot be replaced". [February 2017]

Braille technology

Hable One is a tiny portable braille keyboard for pairing with a phone. Now available for pre-order. [January 2020]

WhatsApp say that they have made it easier to chat using a refreshable braille display. [December 2019]

Orbit Chat Communication allows a deafblind person to use an Orbit Reader 20 refreshable braille display and an app running on a smartphone or tablet to communicate with a sighted, blind or deaf person. The app is available now for free download at orbitresearch.com/product/orbit-chat. [November 2019]

A new method for printing braille directly onto plastic. Great news for more product labels in braille. [November 2019]

Orbit Research are the first refreshable braille manufacturers to implement the new USB HID Standard, so that special drivers are not required to pair the Orbit20 with other devices like computers and smartphones. [October 2019]

The story behind ViewPlus embossers. [July 2019]

Congratulations to Bristol Braille Technology, recipients of the 2019 Dr. Jacob Bolotin Award from NFB for their work on the Canute multi-line refreshable braille display. [July 2019]

Microsoft have filed a patent for an Xbox controller with refreshable braille display! [May 2019]

Another affordable refreshable braille device set to hit the market. Bonocle offers one braille cell on a device the size of a computer mouse, designed for reading on the go. [May 2019]

The Braille Trail Reader LE is the latest refreshable braille display to come on the market. It is a customized version of HumanWare’s Brailliant BI 14, developed exclusively for teachers and students with easy file transfer. [April 2019]

Comparing the Braille Me and the Orbit Reader, the two low-cost refreshable braille displays already on the market. [March 2019]

And another low-cost refreshable braille display hits the market! DotBook will be available as 20 cells with 6-key entry or 40 cells with a qwerty keyboard. [March 2019]

Can new refreshable braille technologies enhance braille learning for older adults? New research in Canada hopes to find some answers. [January 2019]

The Blitab, a refreshable braille tablet, is scheduled for shipping by the end of the year. The top half of the tablet, which will retail for around $500, has holes where the liquid based technology can raise to form braille dots. [September 2018]

Windows 10 is promising improved usage of braille commanding when using the Narrator key from the braille display. [August 2010]

TV captions as refreshable braille for people who are deaf-blind, coming soon to the USA. [August 2018]

To join a new discussion list about the BrailleMe (low-cost refreshable braille display), send a blank e-mail to: brailleme+subscribe@groups.io. [August 2018]

3D printed braille? A new study finds that it is more versatile but not as smooth as traditional embossed braille. [July 2010]

More support for UEB math now available with the Duxbury Braille Translator version 12.3. [July 2018]

Plug and play braille devices? Yes please! A new universal standard for braille displays promises to do away with the need for specialised drivers for refreshable braille displays. [June 2018]

New braille inventions are popping up all over the world. From Azerbaijan comes Braille Teach, an enlarged braille cell to serve as an interactive braille alphabet teaching device. [May 2018]

Bringing braille back from the brink: Can new braille technology boost literacy levels for the blind? Yes, we believe it can. Braille is essential for literacy, and new technologies make braille available more quickly and affordably than ever before. [May 2018]

The makers of DotWatch are now working on Dot Pad, a full page refreshable braille display. [April 2018]

Illuminating science for blind students, with help from the latest tech devices: New technologies enable increased use of braille and give access to STEM fields. [April 2018]

New character recognition and braille translation software for Sinhala developed in Sri Lanka. [March 2018]

BrailleMe, a low-cost refreshable braille display, was this year's winner of the National Braille Press's Touch of Genius Prize for Innovation in braille. [February 2018]

World Blind Union statement for World Braille Day on the importance of technology to support braille literacy. [January 2018]

Iranian researcher develops phone for visually impaired: A prototype system featuring a braille keyboard on a bracelet paired with a mobile phone. [December 2017]

Perkins SMART Braillers now offer Unified English Braille. The UEB software update is available for free download. [October 2017]

"I can’t tell you how excited I am. Digital braille means I can ... slip every book in the world into my purse and take it with me." - Comments from a NLS patron using an Orbit Braille Reader as part of a one year trial to determine how the device can be used as part of their library service.[August 2017]

Microsoft Windows Accessibility: It is great to see improved support for braille displays in Microsoft's new preview build. [June 2017]

Team Tactile hopes to create an inexpensive and portable device that can translate text to braille in real time. [May 2017]

Exciting possibilities: The b.my.jet printer promises affordable digital additive printing for braille and tactile graphics, with a prototype due by the end of 2017. [April 2017]

Canute is an affordable 9-line refreshable braille display with the goal "to help reverse the decline in Braille literacy". [April 2017]

The Unubhav, a prototype low-cost device from India, is a braille slate and stylus with a difference - it lets you read and write simultaneously with raised dots. [March 2017]

Braille success stories

You are never too old to learn braille! 94 year old may be the oldest person to learn braille at Hoopono in Hawaii. [January 2020]

How braille helped Haben Girma succeed as the first deafblind graduate of Harvard Law School and as a disability rights activist. [September 2019]

"I found Braille classes and enrolled in one close by. That was the first step I took to be productive again." - Anubhuti Matta [August 2019]

"Blind and visually impaired people can do great things", says blind boy whose mother invented braille clothing tags to encourage his independence. [June 2019]

Wise advice from a braille user: "Nothing can stop you." "Accept, respect and empower each other." [June 2019]

Did you know? 6-finger braille entry can be much faster than typing on a qwerty keyboard. As illustrated in this story from "Don't say cannot". [May 2019]

Blind students from the Pune Blind School pass their examinations with first class. Deodan Gaikwad credits his success to the simplicity of braille. [June 2018]

There is no stopping Samantha Lynn Williams. Learning braille as an adult as a stepping stone to education and a new career. [May 2018]

Warrensburg-Latham second-grader aces Braille Challenge: A success story of learning braille for long-term literacy. [February 2018]

"Against all odds": A success story from Nepal on the importance of braille for equality and how one individual can make a difference. [December 2017]

The sweetest Christmas music you'll ever hear: A Christmas tale of the importance of braille for access and inclusion (with some help from skilled transcription from behind Idaho prison bars). [December 2017]

"Reading is food for the mind and the soul" says 11-year old Abdullah Ammar, who is the only braille reader among sixteen finalists in the international Arab Reading Challenge. [October 2017]

Giang the adventurer: Grab's first blind coder makes the world see past limitations. Adaptations can be as simple as braille stickers for an accessible workplace and career success. [October 2017]

Eleven year old boy shatters school record by reading for over 250 hours. And he just happens to be using braille. [April 2017]

Seventh-grader L.T. Spears read 4,015 pages of braille in seven weeks to win the Great Lakes Braille Readers Are Leaders contest. [March 2017]

Braille initiatives and legislation

Rwanda Education Board this year introduced the teaching of braille technique in teacher-training centres. [January 2020]

400 hotels and restaurants in Delhi India will be introducing braille menus, thanks to an order passed by The Delhi State Commissioner of Person with Disabilities. [December 2019]

Thailand has adopted the Marrakesh Treaty in an effort to end the (accessible) book famine and address disparities for people with disabilities. [May 2019]

Using braille ballot papers in India, 5000 vision impaired voters were able to cast their vote independently for the first time. [April 2019]

Great work happening at Scottish Braille Press, where turnover has tripled in the last decade and almost half their workforce has disabilities. [February 2019]

The US joins the Marrakesh Treaty as the 50th country allowing sharing of accessible materials across borders. [February 2019]

Positive moves in Kenya with the release of braille documents to enhance participation of visually impaired people in governance. [November 2018]

Great news for Nigeria, with the establishment of 6 new braille centres. [October 2018]

New Braille Press opening: "Braille in Scotland not only has a proud history but an important role in our future too." [June 2018]

New Zealand moves closer to ratification of the Marrakesh Treaty for international sharing of braille and other accessible materials. [June 2018]

A new Social Security system in Scotland is believed to be the first in the UK to ensure that all of its information is fully accessible to people with disabilities. Formats that information must be available in include audio, Braille and large-print. [May 2018]

Federation of blind hosts convention in Twin Falls: "It's the lack of education. It's the misunderstandings of others that define, not blindness". Which is why the National Federation of the Blind of Idaho want to strengthen the braille bill in next year's legislative session. [April 2018]

Blind users celebrate as the Marrakesh Treaty Implementation Bill is introduced to US Congress. When passed, it will enable easier sharing of braille internationally. [March 2018]

In conjunction with International Women's Day 2018, around 2,500 braille books explaining menstruation are being distributed to vision impaired girls throughout India. [March 2018]

Braille publishing house at book fair to provide access, raise awareness and encourage publishers to make their books accessible. [February 2018]

"You feel it on your fingers and it's very very very very dotty". The immeasurable value of braille for literacy, as supported by APH's Braille Tales program. [January 2018]

Good news from Turkey, where braille labelling of medication is now mandatory. [April 2017]

The first tactile atlas of India demonstrates the power of braille and tactile graphics: "There is a lot of excitement ... to see the expression of students as they lay their hands on the atlas and sense our country in its physical form". [March 2017]

Braille usages

Braille trails

Braille trails are designed to make outdoor areas easy for vision impaired people to navigate and enjoy. They may include braille signage, roped pathways, tactile ground surface indicators and sensory gardens.

A playground with an interactive braille trail based on The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. At Darrell’s Dream Boundless Playground in Warriors State Park, Tennessee, USA. [November 2019]

Introducing the Braille Tree System - braille signage for trees in a park in Malaysia. [November 2018]

Braille story walk launched in Sterling Heights, with pages from a story book displayed in print and braille along a walk in the park. [September 2019]

Re-opening of a Three Senses Trail at Calaveras Big Trees State Park. It features a tactile map, braille signage, a level walking surface and raised edges. [October 2018]

A braille treasure hunt has been established in Greater Manchester. It covers a circular route of around 2 miles and takes around 2 hours to complete. [May 2018]

Braille Trail with sensory garden opens at Fowler Park in Forsyth County, Georgia USA.[May 2018]

Braille menus

Braille menus for an old-fashioned sweet shop in Worcestor, UK. "When people come into our shop they look around in awe, not knowing where to start. We stock over 1400 different products. It is such a visual experience. We wanted to think of a way to bring that experience to the visually impaired.”

Local braille activism: Teenager Mason Fessenden is taking matters into his own hands and producing braille menus for local restaurants in Monrovia. [August 2018]

Flagler student project helps blind diners in St Augustine USA. Braille menus (and wait staff training) allow independence and dignity. [May 2018]

Viral photograph of an 18-year old girl offered a (braille) menu for the first time in her life. A simple example of how braille gives equitable access to information. [March 2017]

Signage

Vancouver will have accessible braille signage at all bus stops. [December 2019]

Braille in zoos: Braille information boards at Lucknow zoo, India. [October 2018]

Two girl scouts make a difference by brailling information for museum exhibits at East Bay Museum. [October 2018]

Braille for access on public transport in India: Braille Platform indicators at Borivali station in Mumbai [October 2018], Coimbatore [November 2019] and Salem [January 2020].

SoCalGas provide braille oven knobs and braille bills. Fantastically simple adaptions enabling independence. [August 2018]

How do blind people find braille signs?: On the importance of braille signs for independent navigation, and consideration for their careful placement. [August 2018]

Braille and tactile road maps at street crossing signals by Touch Graphics. Love it. [July 2018]

The Blind Faith Upgrade is a kit that can help hotels transform any room into a blind-friendly room, with braille labels, reusable tactile paving tiles and audio assist. [April 2018]

Creating the 'jewelry' of the elevator industry: This article describes braille and tactile labels as the overlooked "jewelry of the elevator industry". But for people who read by touch, they are an essential tool for independence. [April 2018]

Braille Neue is an experimental braille/print font, possibly to be used for dual format signage at the Tokyo Olympics. [April 2018]

Initiative to put braille signs on UNF buildings. Previously, vision impaired students had to guess or memorize which building they were in. [May 2017]

Braille maps and more than 600 braille labels on railings for platforms and footbridges at KSR_city railway station in India. [March 2017]

Braille in art

A braille mural as a talking point to bridge the sighted and vision impaired communities. [June 2018]

RSBC announces the unveiling of a sculptural commission by Robert Montgomery. The inclusion of braille statements means that the sculptures are only fully accessible to blind people. [January 2018]

Omani designer creates a dress for the blind with the national anthem of Oman featured in braille on a dress sleeves. [December 2017]

Tactile banknotes

Tactile bank notes are on their way to the Caribbean. [July 2019]

The Solomon Islands are celebrating 40 years of independence with the release of a limited edition $40 note with braille markings. [July 2018]

Tactile features on bank notes now in the UK, with the introduction of the new 10 pound note. [July 2017]

New banknotes in Australia have tactile markings,thanks to lobbying by a blind student. [September 2016]

Further uses

A braille and tactile overlay for the AmazonBasics microwave oven keypad. So simple and so helpful! [January 2020]

In Iran: Refreshable braille displays in bank branches for greater independence and security. [December 2019]

Braille on the 2020 Paralympic medals [August 2019].

NASA are pleased to share free 3D printable models of the lunar landing site, complete with braille labels. [July 2019]

Supporting pre-braille tactile literacy skills through innovative building design in Thailand. [June 2019]

Clothing labels as decoration - when they are written in braille with beads.

Braille on Mars! NASA's Insight lands on Mars with a braille "Easter egg". [December 2018]

Medals with braille, embossed logo and a rattling sound. A great initiative for the 2018 Asian Para Games. [October 2018]

Braille ale! [September 2018]

For the first time, Braille voting cards were prepared and issued to visually impaired voters in Karnataka in an attempt to make elections more inclusive. [July 2018]

Braille must be included on all Paralympic medals, as per the Paralympic regulations. The PyeongChang Winter Olympic medals are no exception. [March 2018]

Odisha releases braille calendar and almanac to all blind schools in Berhampur (India), to educated vision impaired persons and to social organisations working for the visually challenged. Any visually impaired person can register his or her address to get this calendar free every year. [January 2018]

Braille letters to (and from) Santa are available in the USA, UK, New Zealand and Australia. [November 2017]

Braille boarding passes: A simple but meaningful service now available from Turkish Airlines. [November 2017]

Blind voters in Rwanda are pleased to use braille to cast a vote an independent vote. [August 2017]

Great initiative in South Korea, issuing the world's first braille passports. [April 2017]

Braille Music

The National Library Service will be digitising their braille music collection. [December 2020]

What is braille music and its benefits? UKAAF's podcasts explain.[August 2018]

The American Printing House for the Blind has created a Spotify playlist representing the APH Migel Library’s Blind Musicians Collection. It encompasses works by and about more than 100 musicians who are visually impaired. [May 2018]

On the importance of braille music for literacy, learning and fun at the Academy of Music for the Blind. [March 2018]

Braille Music (2017) is a UK documentary highlighting Louis Braille's gift to blind musicians. It is available through Amazon Prime. [November 2017]

The Braille Music Notator is a free, online and accessible way of writing braille music. [March 2017]

The importance of braille music, as told by participants at Australia's National Braille Music Camp. [February 2017]

Braille leaders

Robert Engelbretson on his contribution to the braille IPA and plans for research into braille education. [January 2020]

Learn more about the work of Professor Paul Ajuwon, who teaches braille in the USA and Nigeria. [October 2019]

ICEB is in mourning with the passing of Antonnette Botha. As the Chair of the UEB Rules Committee from 1993 to 2006, she helped shape the braille code as we know it today. She was quick-witted, considerate and a true pleasure to work with. [August 2019]

Congratulations and thanks to Dr Myra Rodrigues, recipient of this year's Braille Literacy Canada President's Award. [May 2019]

Congratulations to Christine Simpson, editor of ICEB's Rules of Unified English Braille, on being awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award by the Round Table on Information Access for People with a Print Disability. [May 2018]

Remembering June Wenberg, a blind leader who founded Sight Loss Services to support braille tuition and other skills acquisition for people with degenerative vision loss. [April 2018]

Congratulations to Jean Obi, recipient of the Arise Ambassador's Award for her work in establishing braille education in Nigeria. Jean is Nigeria's representative to the ICEB Executive Committee. [November 2017]

Our heartfelt congratulations to Darleen Bogart, named as an Officer in the Order of Canada. Darleen is a past President of ICEB and was a strong force behind the creation of Unified English Braille. [July 2017]

Remembering Stanford engineering professor John G. Linvill, inventor of the Optacon reading device. [March 2011]

Braille activities, competitions and events

Braille games and blind adult mentors to support braille learning for 100 students at the Milwaukee Public Museum. [May 2019]

A concert in Costa Rica with 20 personalities will raise money for 25,000 braille books to be distributed to public libraries throughout the country. [April 2019]

Hundreds of children in South Africa participated in International Mother Language Day this week reading aloud with braille. Jace Nair, CEO of Blind SA, highlighted the need for everyone to be able to read and write independently. [February 2019]

Bangladesh is celebrating its National Textbook Festival with the distribution of free textbooks in multiple languages and braille. [January 2019]

The UN General Assembly has adopted January 4 as World Braille Day. Remarks from World Blind Union President (and former ICEB President) Dr. Fred Schroeder. [December 2018]

The Cleveland Museum of Arts hosted a Tactile Carnival, featuring games such as blindfolded harvest toss, Touch Tetris and the braille name game. Sounds like fun! [November 2018]

Read Aloud program in West Virginia: The simple story of one teacher making a difference with braille lessons for sighted kids. Love their plans to use braille to send secret notes in class! [November 2018]

Some fun ideas for braille-related activities ahead of World Literacy Day on September 8. Great work by the Braille Authority of New Zealand Aotearoa Trust (BANZAT). [August 2018]

The Braille Challenge promotes braille literacy and builds confidence and networks for success. [July 2018]

“Braille is knowledge and knowledge is power. The power of the Braille Challenge is amazing." From an observer at the 2018 Braille Challenge. [July 2018]

"Braille is powerful." Tales from the USA's National Braille Challenge. [July 2018]

The Braille Challenge 2018 is now on, with 10 competitors for each age group selected through regional competitions throughout North America. [July 2018]

The NYS School for the Blind is celebrating its 150th anniversary. While many things have changed, the need for braille has not. "Braille is their literacy, and to not teach it would be like teaching them not to be literate." [May 2018]

Highlights from the ICEB mid-term executive meeting in Dublin. [May 2018]

Braille Games 2018: The Milwaukee Public Museum teamed up with ABLE, VisionForward and the Talking and Braille Library to host the 2018 Braille Games. Visually impaired children engaged in museum education programs, then challenged each other in competitive braille games led by blind adult mentors. [April 2018]

Braille workshops at FILBo: As part of the ‘More ways to read’ section of FILBo, multiple workshops on reading and writing braille have been organised. "If you can write in braille, you can include the visually impaired in memos at work, or serve as a translator yourself – a fantastic thing to have on your CV. You can also translate any information for clubs or societies you are part of. Plus, it’s fun! " [April 2018]

Holman Prize semi-finalist Carol Bejay Green wants to implement a summer program teaching the Navajo Braille Code to blind students and adults. [March 2018]

The interview starts at 10:50. [May 2018]

Wonderful celebrations for World Read Aloud Day in South Africa, where braille learners participated in a range of activities, including a braille treasure hunt. According to news reports, almost 850 blind and partially sighted learners from 11 schools for the blind participated. [February 2018]

Rounding up Braille Awareness Month, the Bureau of Internet Accessibility is raising awareness about how web accessibility can help develop braille literacy throughout all aspects of a student's life. [January 2018]

"Reading in the Dark" event for National Braille Literacy Awareness month. [January 2018]

Braille Week celebrations in Nigeria concluded with a parliamentary unveiling of the UN's Sustainable Development Goals in braille. [January 2018]

Arushi organises car rally for the blind: Just one of the many things you can achieve with braille. [January 2018]

The third Braille Chess Olympiad was held in Weymouth UK in 1968. Do you have information or pictures of the event? [December 2017]

Picture books for the blind: The South African Library for the Blind has launched new tactile picture books and a braille manual in honour of Disability Rights Awareness Month. [November 2017]

How braille, screen readers and other technology changed the world for blind readers: 150 years of evolution in technology for bline readers in CNIB exhibition. [October 2017]

In South Africa: The SA Braille Cup Competition encourages braille literacy and is raising awareness of its importance. [September 2017]

Fun for braille in Ireland. The NCBI National Table Quiz is putting the spotlight on braille and literacy. [September 2017]

Videos are now available for all sessions at this year's Tactile Reading Conference on braille and graphics for children and youth. [May 2017]

Results of the 2017 Louis Braille Touch of Genius Prize for innovation. Congratulations to the makers of BELLA (Braille Early Learning and Literacy Arcade) and Reach and Match Learning Kit. [April 2017]

Braille products

Did you know that there is a tactile version of "Twister"? [November 2019]

The "barrier-free braille board" is a slate and stylus that holds the page in place so you can check your work. [October 2019]

UNO has launched a braille version of its popular card game, available in mainstream outlets. [October 2019]

12-year-old author Stacey Fru has partnered with Blind SA to release two of her books in braille. [September 2019]

Tactile version of The Smeds and The Smoos released simultaneously in print and braille. [September 2019]

Braille guides for riders in self-driving cars, thanks to Lyft, Aptiv, the NFB and Lighthouse for the Blind and Visually Impaired. [July 2019]

South African lifestyle magazine in braille, thanks to the initiative of one braillist. [June 2019]

Lego is launching braille bricks. Fantastic news for braille literacy, inclusion and fun! [April 2019]

Everyone can code, including braille users. Apple's "Everyone can code" courses are now available in braille. [January 2019]

The Whittle Pocket Reference Book of UEB Common Symbols - available in print or braille and a great stuffing filler at only $10. [December 2018]

Braille Buzz is a new braille learning tool for 2-5 year olds, now available from APH. [November 2018]

For evaluation: Brick-a-braille system for using lego to teach braille. [November 2018]

Laptime and Lullabies: A handbook with suggestions on how to introduce literacy and (UEB) braille to your infant or toddler. [August 2018]

An Aasaan phone with braille keys is now available in India. [August 2018]

Seedlings Braille Books for Children has added eight more titles to its collection of books in Unified English Braille. [July 2018]

Very Bumpy Stories in UEB are available for purchase or loan from Volunteer Braille Services in the USA. [July 2018]

inklude is an initiative from India using Poly-Braille printing technology to integrate print and braille products for inclusive learning in mainstream schools. [May 2018]

Seedlings Braille Books for Children now offers 100 titles in contracted UEB for older kids. [April 2018]

From the Royal Canadian Mint: Beautiful braille on CNIB's coin and medallion commemorating their 100th anniversary. [March 2018]

AnimalWatch VI suite is a free accessible app to support children learn maths. Accompanying braille and tactile graphic files are available in UEB. [October 2017]

Less than a month until Christmas! Luckily, Paths to Literacy have some great gift ideas for young braille readers. [November 2017]

Snizzly Snouts is a book of poems designed to be read by blind and sighted children together, with the braille providing added information. Available in uncontracted english braille from NCBI. [August 2017]

Six little dots is a charming new children's book in UEB to teach the basics of the braille cell.

Campaigns for access to braille

Braille teachers wanted in the USA. Quality braille instruction is "about creating people who love to read, who love to read and write, who gather information as a part of their lives" says Cay Holbrook. [October 2019]

Did you know that the World Blind Union offers scholarships to support braille literacy? Applications are accepted at any time.

A fascinating insight into the production of University entrance exams in braille in Japan. And a firm reminder that access to braille is vital for equitable access to education. [February 2019]

An appeal for braille in exams in Nigeria to allow students to read the questions themselves and check over their answers. [January 2019]

"Can blind children learn? Of course, but they need access to school books in Braille, and they need teachers who can teach them and who believe in their ability." - Advancing Opportunities for the World’s 253 Million Blind and Partially Sighted People by Dr Frederic Schroeder, World Blind Union President. [December 2018]

On a braille crisis in India, leaving many vision impaired students effectively illiterate. [May 2018]

Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights has petitioned the High Court seeking accessible (braille) ballot papers so that vision impaired voters can exercise their right to vote by secret ballot in the forthcoming 2018 General Election in Zimbabwe. [May 2018]

Calls for all lead-based Taylor slates in India to be replaced with safe materials by September. [May 2018]

Visually impaired candidate rejected: For the past five days, disability rights activists in Chennai have been protesting after a visually impaired binder's application was rejected on the basis that he cannot read and write. But he has studied up to class 12 and can read and write in braille. [April 2018]

Braille study materials in Nigeria: With braille as the stepping stone to literacy and future success, vision impaired students in Nigeria call for better access to braille paper, machines, and slates. [March 2018]

In Jamaica: A call for braille packaging as an important step towards empowerment. [December 2017]

CNIB is calling for support to create more books in braille. "We're not getting the same availability of information as our peers are, our sighted peers, and so it's very difficult to compete in education, and to compete in employment with such a low number of books available to us." [June 2018]

Learning Braille

UEBOT-1 (UEB Online Training) has successfully helped over 5,000 people transition from EBAE to UEB. Now, UEBOT-2 is on its way for pre-service professionals with no previous braille knowledge. [January 2020]

NEW! UEB Online now includes ten Advanced Math lessons covering mathematics symbols and expressions that are encountered during the junior years of secondary schooling. [December 2019]

UEB math drill cards now available from APH. [December 2019]

UEB Prep App is a new free app for sighted people to learn UEB on your iPhone or android device. [September 2019]

"UEB Practice Sentences" by Roberta Becker is an updated resource for students and teachers to learn to read and write UEB contractions. [August 2019]

Fun braille activities for summer (or any time, really). [June 2019]

The Eyecanc project provides visual mnemonics for sighted people to easily learn the braille alphabet. [April 2019]

Can new refreshable braille technologies enhance braille learning for older adults? New research in Canada hopes to find some answers. [January 2019]

The Illinois Braille Series is now adapted for UEB. [January 2019]

Great tip from Paths to Literacy: Use a dry eraser to highlight braille dots for better visibility in an interpoint book. [December 2018]

Want to learn UEB for math or check your skills? APH has developed a fantastic UEB Math Tutorial that’s online, accessible, and free. [December 2018]

Advice on teaching braille to students with decreased tactile sensitivity, from the excellent Paths To Literacy website. [October 2018]

New in the app store: Reading Adventure Time is a literacy and assessment tool designed for teachers and students to support braille reading skills. And it is free! [September 2018]

The Whittle Pocket Reference Book of UEB Common Symbols is a handy tool for those who are learning or revising the code. [August 2018]

Great article on UEB maths, citing research on its use and a recommended resource for learning. [July 2017]

"Get excited about braille. It is fun to be literate." And more practical tips on how to increase braille reading speed. [July 2017]

Hands On UEB is a first stage braille reading scheme for young children, complete with tactile pictures. Available for purchase from RNIB. [May 2018]

Learning braille is fun! The Braille Bee spelling app offers games for learning to spell in contracted and uncontracted braille. [April 2017]

Transition to Unified English Braille (UEB)

Regional teacher training in the Philippines, where they learned the details of Unified English Braille and shared best practices in teaching braille. [January 2019]

The World Blind Union Asia Pacific has a brand new website. ICEB supports their recent recommendation that WBU-AP countries: (a) adopt Unified English Braille as their national standard for English-language braille: and (b) consider using the Unified English Braille symbols for mathematics and science notation when undertaking major revisions to their indigenous braille codes. [March 2017]

International Collaboration

High school students in Turkey create braille materials for vision impaired students in African countries. [September 2019]

The Jamaica Society of the Blind were pleased to receive braille and tactile posters illustrating astronomy. A lovely story about international sharing of braille materials. [February 2019]

The ABC Global Book Service now has over 320,000 titles available in accessible format for international exchange without the need to request copyright permission, made possible through the Marrakesh Treaty. [January 2019]

ShareBraille is a new website from NFB to facilitate the sharing of braille. It is free to join for those who have second-hand braille books to give away, or would like to trade or request braille reading materials. [December 2018]


ICEB contact information
Page content last updated: February 20, 2020.