UEB Australian Training Manual

The Unified English Braille Australian Training Manual is a series of lessons and practice exercises by which teachers, transcribers and parents can learn UEB. It was published by Round Table on Information Access for People with Print Disabilities Inc. initially in May 2013 with a second revision released in April 2014. (Goto to Manual Download page)

Below is the Foreword extracted from the Manual:

Unified English Braille (UEB) was adopted for use by the Australian Braille Authority (ABA) in May 2005; with an envisaged five year transition period. Since 2010, it has been Australia’s only braille code in use.

Following the adoption of UEB, our major braille producers commenced implementing the code almost immediately and an urgent need for teaching materials in the new, but still developing, braille code was created. Thus, the Unified English Braille Primer: Australian Edition followed shortly afterwards, with the Preliminary Edition in 2006 and an update in 2008.

As time passed, the UEB code has been refined and the UEB rules are now articulated in The Rules of Unified English Braille: Second Edition 2013 (“The Rulebook” as it is commonly known).

Some Rulebook language was different! New terminology was now in use! It became apparent that the recently released Braille Primer (Australian Edition) in its current form was no longer the best way of meeting the needs of braille learners.

Therefore, following release and careful study of this new Rulebook publication, what had started as a further update of the Unified English Braille Primer: Australian Edition, has now resulted in a completely new document – the Unified English Braille: Australian Training Manual.

Those familiar with the RNIB Braille Primer and the Unified English Braille Primer: Australian Edition will recognise the lesson structure and exercises from these. However, it became apparent that it was necessary to rewrite the lesson content in accordance with The Rules of Unified English Braille: Second Edition 2013.

Two main concepts which required a considerable rewrite were the rules for Lower Signs and Shortforms. The later lessons needed considerable alteration to both the order in which concepts are introduced, as well as the content.

A new lesson on the basics of formatting according to the Australian Braille Authority’s formatting guidelines has also been included with the addition of some longer passages which may be used as final test pieces.

Changes to the choices of font and layout have also been made. These are deliberate, as they better meet clear print requirements.

Josie Howse manages Australia’s largest education related braille production unit and she had the lead role in introducing UEB into Australia’s education system. As Editor of the now very popular and sought after Unified English Braille Primer: Australian Edition, the Australian Braille Authority invited Josie to consider undertaking yet another update of the publication.

Such updating has been a most time-consuming project, one which has taken many months and extreme attention to detail. Great care was required to ensure that even the smallest of changes to our braille code has been captured and documented within this new publication.

In the latter stages of the editing process, Josie was joined by Kathy Riessen and Leona Holloway. Both Kathy and Leona brought detailed UEB knowledge, experience and skills of their own, further enhancing the content and presentation of this training manual.

Release of the Unified English Braille: Australian Training Manual is the culmination of much hard work contributed by Josie, Kathy and Leona. They are without a doubt three of Australia’s most UEB informed and experienced code experts and with great pleasure, I share their deliberations with you.

Christine Simpson
Chair – Australian Braille Authority
May 2013