RNIB Certificate in Contracted Braille (UEB)

Want to learn braille and gain a qualification? Our distance learning course is aimed at sighted learners, such as parents, teachers, teaching assistants and support workers, who support individuals using braille.

Want to learn braille and gain a qualification?

This distance learning course is aimed at sighted learners who support individuals using braille, such as parents, teachers, teaching assistants and support workers, plus anyone with a specific interest in braille. It provides tuition in how to read and write contracted Unified English braille (UEB). No prior knowledge of braille is required.

Course content

Students receive all the materials and tuition needed to complete the course, plus one opportunity to take a final examination. The time scale for completing the course is 12 months.

The course includes the following:

  • The braille alphabet
  • All the contractions of standard English literary braille (grade 2)
  • Punctuation signs
  • Basic numbering and capitalisation.

It does not cover any of the following:

  • Advanced notation in standard English braille
  • Specialist codes (eg mathematics, science, music, etc)
  • Skills in teaching braille to blind individuals.

Enrolment dates

There are two start dates for the course every year: May and October. The closing date for receipt of applications for each intake is 22 April or 23 September, respectively. Any applications received after these dates will be held until the next enrolment deadline.

Course structure

There are four self-study, tutor-assessed units with each unit contributing to a continuous assessment element of the course. The final examination at the end tests all the skills learned during the course.

Students should be aware that each unit could involve up to 30 hours of study, although the actual amount of study time will vary from one student to another. Three months are allocated for the completion and assessment of each unit and assessment papers will be sent out after 2 months of self-assessed study.

Each assessment must be submitted for marking before the date specified and will be graded. Failure to complete an assessment within the specified time frame will result in a zero grade for the unit. The assessments will contribute 40 per cent to the final mark at the end of the course.

Tutorial support will be available to provide feedback and advice by email or telephone.

What you will need for the course

All learning materials are provided by post or email. Sighted learners are expected to read braille by sight rather than touch and most of the course material will be in print format.

All students are expected to have access to a computer and will be provided with free Perky Duck computer software to complete their brailled assessments (please note: this software is for use on a PC only and is not compatible with Mac). Exercises may be completed using either a braille machine or the computer software provided. An email account is recommended to enable speedy and reliable communication and support.

The examination

'The examination takes place in May and October/November each year at a designated centre or the student's place of work. The examination comprises two papers taken in succession on the same day:

  • Part A tests reading and comprehension skills on a passage of braille.
  • Part B involves transcribing a passage of printed text to braille

The final examination will contribute 60 per cent to the final mark.

If for any reason the final examination cannot be taken on the date specified then it can be deferred to the next available exam date. If the desired grade is not achieved then the examination may be taken again for an additional fee. Only two re-sits are permitted otherwise the course must be taken again at full cost.

How much does the course cost?

The cost of the course is £365.00 per person.

How to Enrol

To enrol on the May or October intake for the RNIB Certificate in contracted (grade 2) braille course, please download and complete an application form, and return completed applications to our address below. The course application forms are in Word document and PDF formats on the top right corner of this page for you to download.

Completed application forms should be sent to:
Racheal Jarvis
Royal National Institute of Blind People
Bakewell Road
Orton Southgate

Further information

For further information on course content and enrolment contact Racheal Jarvis by email at braillecertificate@rnib.org.uk.

Terms and conditions

  • Applications will be acknowledged within two weeks of receipt.
  • Fees must be paid prior to the start of the course and no course materials will be dispatched until the receipt of payment. Cheques should be made payable to RNIB and sent with the application form, or paid on receipt of an invoice.
  • RNIB reserves the right to impose a charge of £75 for places cancelled after the application deadline of the course.
  • Students are required to complete the course units and sit the examination within the given timeframe. Extensions for each unit will only be considered if made in writing and will not be granted for periods longer than three months. Only two extensions will be permitted on the course. If, due to extenuating circumstances, a longer period away from study is required, application in writing with supporting evidence must be made and the course restarted from the beginning. Reasons might include:
    • serious personal illness (or serious illness of an immediate family member)
    • bereavement
    • maternity/paternity leave

It is not possible to extend registration on the course because of other reasons such as pressure at work, moving house, etc

  • RNIB accepts no responsibility for the free software provided, this is installed at the users own risk. RNIB provides no technical support for this software.
  • Except in the case of fraud or personal injury resulting from an act or omission by RNIB the maximum liability of RNIB to the student shall be capped at the price you have paid for the course and in particular RNIB shall not be liable for any indirect, economic or consequential loss the student may suffer.
  • Training materials provided are copyrighted and are for the students personal use only.

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