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UEB will eventually replace the current English Braille American Edition and that the U.S. will retain the Nemeth Code for Mathematics and Science Notation.

BANA Adopts Unified English Braille (UEB) for United States

On November 2, 2012, the Braille Authority of North America (BANA) set a new course for the future of braille in the United States (U.S.) when it adopted Unified English Braille (UEB). The motion, which passed decisively, specifies that UEB will eventually replace the current English Braille American Edition and that the U.S. will retain the Nemeth Code for Mathematics and Science Notation.

The transition to UEB will not be immediate and will follow a carefully crafted timeline. Implementation plans will be formulated with the input and participation of stakeholders from the consumer, education, rehabilitation, transcription, and production communities. Plans will take into consideration the various aspects of creating, teaching, learning, and using braille in a wide variety of settings. The plans will be designed to provide workable transitions for all involved in braille use and production and to minimize disruption for current braille readers.

UEB is based on the current literary braille code and was developed with input from many people, primarily braille readers, who worked to achieve an optimal balance among many key factors. Those factors include keeping the general-purpose literary code as its base, allowing the addition of new symbols, providing flexibility for change as print changes, reducing the complexity of rules, and allowing greater accuracy in back translation.

Letters and numbers will stay the same as they are in the current literary code. There will be some changes to punctuation, but most will remain the same. Some rules for the use of contractions will change. Nine contractions will be eliminated, and some contractions will be used more often. A FAQ providing more detail about changes is available on the BANA website.

After implementation, the official braille codes for the United States will be Unified English Braille; Nemeth Code for Mathematics and Science Notation, 1972 Revision and published updates; Music Braille Code, 1997; and The IPA Braille Code, 2008.

More detailed information about UEB and the motion that BANA passed can be found on the BANA website at http://www.brailleauthority.org.

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National Deaf-Blind Equipment Distribution Program

Perkins School for the Blind, along with Helen Keller National Center for Deaf-Blind Youths & Adults and Fablevision, Inc., has been chosen to conduct the outreach efforts across the country to promote the National Deafblind Equipment Distribution Program (NDBEDP) pilot.

The idea behind the NDBEDP is that people with combined hearing and vision loss should have access to modern telecommunication tools (and the training necessary to use them) so that they can interact, communicate, use the internet and contribute more to their community. Access to these tools shouldn’t be seen as a luxury, but as a right.
The program provides outreach, assessments, telecommunications technology and training free of charge to those who meet federal eligibility guidelines. Of course, the issue then becomes identifying who is eligible for the program and getting the technology and training out to them.

If you think you or a loved one would be eligible for this program, visit the website www.iCanConnect.com  and look up your state to find out who your contact person is.

You do have to meet an income threshold to be eligible for this program. You must have an income that does not exceed 400 percent of the Federal Poverty Guidelines (FPG). To look up the 2012 Federal Poverty Guidelines (FPG), go to http://www.familiesusa.org/resources/tools-for-advocates/guides/federal-poverty-guidelines.html

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Review for Religious Available Online

Review for Religious, a journal published by the Missouri Province Jesuits from 1942 through January 2012, has made its complete archives available online.

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New Aid for Prescription Drugs

Blind people get better access to prescription drug information.

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