Braille codes

Braille is read throughout the world by blind and partially sighted people.

Just as different countries speak different languages, braille rules are slightly different in each country. The development and upkeep of braille rules tends to be managed by Braille Authorities in each individual country.

Braille code regulation in the UK

The main braille code used and regulated in the UK is British Literary Braille, or Standard English Braille (SEB). This code was originally maintained and developed by the Braille Authority of the United Kingdom (BAUK). However in January 2009, BAUK merged with two other organisations to form the UK Association of Accessible Formats (UKAAF). In 2011, the UKAAF board voted to adopt the Unified English Braille (UEB) code.

Unified English Braille (UEB)

The Unified English Braille (UEB) project is managed by the International Council on English Braille (ICEB). The project aims to develop and implement a single braille code for all English-speaking people of the world. A number of countries have already adopted UEB, such as Australia, South Africa, Canada, Nigeria and New Zealand.

Uncontracted braille (grade one) and contracted braille (grade two)

Uncontracted braille (grade one) and contracted braille (grade two) are produced in most countries. However, over recent years there has been increased production of uncontracted braille in several European countries to try to increase readership and encourage more blind and partially sighted people to learn braille.

Specialist braille codes

The literary braille code is the most produced type of braille - books, magazines, reports, letters and so on are produced in this format. However, due to the limited number of unique combinations that can be achieved with the six dots of a braille cell, specialist braille codes have been developed over many years to represent print characters such as computer and scientific notation.

Braille alphabet card

The braille alphabet card shows the embossed braille alphabet, punctuation marks and numbers, together with the print translation. You can order one free copy of the English card from our online shop or call 0303 123 9999. If you would like multiple copies of the card there will be a small charge. For details of the Welsh alphabet card, please call 0303 123 9999.

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