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The International Council on English Braille (ICEB) was formed in 1991, after two international braille conferences held in the 1980s had demonstrated the benefits to be gained by greater international cooperation on braille-related issues. The ICEB has its headquarters at the Canadian National Institute for the Blind in Toronto.

Aims and Objectives

The main aim of ICEB is to provide a forum for international cooperation among those countries that use English-language braille. In pursuing this aim, the ICEB is guided by a number of objectives. These include:


Membership of ICEB is open to all countries that have a national standards-setting body for braille, and where there is a substantial use of English-language braille. Countries that do not satisfy these requirements may apply to become Associate Members of ICEB.

Currently, the member countries of ICEB are Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Nigeria, South Africa, the United Kingdom, and the United States.


The ICEB is administered by a six-member Executive, which is elected by, and takes direction from, the General Assembly, which meets every four years. The first General Assembly of the ICEB was held in 1995, the second in November 1999, and the third is planned for early 2004. As well as electing the incoming Executive, the General Assembly provides an opportunity for ICEB members to discuss the latest research into braille, exchange information about braille codes and practices in individual countries, and explore new ways of promoting the ICEB's objectives.


Shortly after its establishment, the ICEB assumed responsibility for a project that had begun as an initiative of the Braille Authority of North America. The Unified English Braille Code (UEBC) Research Project is working towards the development of a single, unified braille code that will encompass all subject areas with the exception of Music (for which there is already an international braille code), and provide a mechanism for making an adaptable and efficient medium of literacy for its users. Those who have some understanding of the complexities of the braille system as it has been developed in different countries will appreciate both the enormity and desirability of this task.

All members of ICEB are involved in the UEBC Research Project. Much progress has already been made, but there are a number of important areas of work that must be completed before the new code could be adopted. It is expected that the major topic of discussion at the 2004 General Assembly will be the UEBC Project.

The ICEB also has several other committees that monitor particular aspects of braille. One of these is the 8-Dot Braille Committee, which was set up to investigate the relevance of the various 8-Dot braille codes (mainly used for technical material such as Mathematics and Computing) to English-language braille, and to encourage standardisation of these codes.


Each member of ICEB pays an annual subscription of $US500. This money is used to support the operation of the Executive, and the committees that the ICEB establishes to perform specific tasks. The ICEB is also keen to involve as many countries as possible, and endeavours to support less prosperous nations who use braille.

The ICEB has been able to obtain some funding from a variety of sources to support activities associated with the UEBC Research Project:

ICEB is working on plans to raise funds for other international projects. Support from the public is welcomed.

For further information on ICEB and, how you can help us reach our goals, please contact:

The President
International Council on English Braille
c/o CNIB, 1929 Bayview Avenue
Toronto, Ontario
Canada M4G 3E8
E-mail: darleen.bogart@cnib.ca
Fax: (1-416) 480-7700
Web site: http://www.iceb.org

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Page content last updated: September 19, 2002