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International Council on English Braille (ICEB)
Braille promotion

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Quick links on this page: Outreach activities, ICEB and braille news, ICEB newsletter, Braille news stories, Getting involved with ICEB

Braille is the primary literacy medium for people who are blind, deafblind, or have severe low vision. Braille literacy is linked strongly with better employment rates, independence and life satisfaction. ICEB urges comprehensive support and provision of braille in every facet of life where access to printed information is important. This includes the teaching of braille to children with severe vision impairment and adults with acquired vision loss; braille literacy for vision support teaching staff and parents of children who use braille; affordable access to braille technology such as refreshable braille displays; provision of print materials in braille or accessible text format; adherence to national and international standards for braille size, codes and formatting; quality braille signage for wayfinding; and braille labelling of products.

Outreach activities

Survey on international use of Unified English Braille

ICEB currently has seven member countries, all of which have adopted Unified English Braille (UEB) as their national standard, however there are many more countries that produce English braille. To find out more about the use of UEB internationally, ICEB is conducting a very brief survey.

If you are able to provide information about the use of UEB in a country that is not a member of ICEB, please go to www.surveymonkey.com/r/VKPXR7H or contact us at info@iceb.org. Only one response is required per country.

Setting up a braille authority

A braille authority acts as a national focus for braille. While governance and structure may differ from one country to the next, all braille authorities serve to bring together touch readers, braille teachers and braille producers with the common goal of promoting literacy through braille for all blind people. Having a braille authority is also a necessary requirement for countries wishing to become Full Members of ICEB.

Setting up a braille authority is a document produced by ICEB to assist countries to establish their own braille authorities. It provides some questions to consider and some braille authority structures to review. The document is available for download in Word format:

Our thanks to Mary Schnackenberg, a Past President of ICEB, for compiling this valuable document.

Low-cost braille production

The ICEB Guidelines for Small Braille Production Units (2012) provide practical advice for small braille production/resource centres, particularly those in developing countries where it is not easy to access relevant information and support when starting up and running such a centre. The guidelines cover equipment, software, skills and copyright considerations in addition to basic production methods for braille transcription, editing, formatting and embossing.

The document is available here for free download:

Our thanks to Jean Obi, a former executive member of ICEB and Trustee of the Braille Advancement Association of Nigeria (BRAAN), for her work in creating this document.

ICEB and braille news

ICEB-announce list

The ICEB-announce list is a one-way listserv for distribution of important announcements and documents from ICEB, including the ICEB newsletter and updates to Unified English Braille. Sign up by sending an email to iceb-announce+subscribe@groups.io or enter your email address in the box below.

ICEB newsletter

ICEB produces a quarterly newsletter with up-to-date stories on ICEB activities, and braille news and events from around the world.

If you have stories or items to share with our community through the newsletter, please contact ICEB Public Relations officer Leona Holloway at aba@printdisability.org.

Braille in the news

ICEB regularly shares news stories relating to braille through its twitter account @ICEBbraille and facebook page at facebook.com./ICEBbraille/. An archive of the most interesting of these braille news stories is available at iceb.org/PRupdates.

Getting involved with ICEB

ICEB provides a forum for international cooperation among national standard setting bodies on English language braille, and to collaborate as appropriate with other organizations which have an interest in the standardization, teaching, promotion or dissemination of braille.

Membership in ICEB provides the opportunity to participate in and benefit from ICEB activities such as the maintenance and further development of Unified English Braille and ICEB meetings. Membership also provides an invaluable opportunity to form close working relationships with other ICEB members and related bodies such as the World Braille Council.

Full Membership in ICEB is open to all nations in which English is a major language and/or in which there is a substantial use of English-language braille, and which have a national standard-setting body for braille. Full members have the right to send a delegation to the ICEB General Assembly, which takes place every four years. They are also entitled to representation on the Executive Committee and can appoint a voting member to each of the ICEB working committees. Each Full Member of ICEB pays an annual subscription of US$500 to support operational costs.

Associate Membership is open to all nations that do not meet the criteria for Full Membership, as well as to organizations and individuals. Associate Members do not have voting rights in ICEB but are welcome to participate in discussions. Each Associate Member pays an annual subscription of US$300.

To request membership of ICEB, please complete the ICEB Full Membership Form or the ICEB Associate Membership Form. For Full Membership, the request must come from the nation’s braille standard-setting body and include a statement of its willingness to abide by the Constitution, Bylaws, and Policies of ICEB. For Associate Membership, the request must cite compliance with the purposes of ICEB and observer membership obligations. Organizations or individuals wishing to become Associate Members must also seek approval from their national braille standards-setting body if they have one.

ICEB contact information
Page content last updated: September 28, 2023.