Los Angeles – January 2, 2016 – Braille Institute of America is celebrating World Braille Day in honor of Louis Braille who developed the tactile alphabet system in 1824 at the age of 15. Like today’s blind or visually impaired youth, Louis wanted to read books and study just like sighted children.
“January. 4th, 2016 is also the day the United States members of Braille Authority of North America (BANA) chose to officially move from the ‘old’ English Braille American Edition braille to the ‘new’ Unified English Braille (UEB) Code,” said Nancy Niebrugge, Associate Vice President – Organizational Strategy at Braille Institute. “This is an important step to bring braille into the 21st century. Prior code did not take into account technology based software, such as bold, italic, fonts, colors and other punctuation that most of us who are sighted take for granted.” Niebrugge added that a new curriculum is available for students in UEB beginning this month. The Braille Institute will be providing limited training for adults on the new code.
“Braille reading proficiency provides an essential skill set that allows blind or low vision children and adults to use computer, iPhone and iPad technology,” said Peter Mindnich, President, Braille Institute. “It’s amazing to watch the skills that blind students develop when they learn to communicate in the world of the internet and social media just like most of us. At the Braille Institute, we offer free classes for children and adults that bring them up to speed on technology. This helps them feel less isolated and increases the chances of succeeding in the school environment, and also in the workforce.”
As of January 4, 2016, all new materials produced must be in the new UBE code. All textbooks and other reading material must be redone with the new code as well.
About Braille Institute of America
Braille Institute of America is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to eliminate barriers to a fulfilling life caused by blindness and severe sight loss. It serves tens of thousands of people of all ages each year through an array of integrated educational, social and recreational programs and services designed to help people with vision loss lead enriched and fulfilling lives. Funded entirely by private donations, all services are completely free-of-charge. Follow on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/brailleinstitute and on twitter @BrailleInst