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. A book entitled ‘World Braille Usage’ summarises the braille codes used in over 140 countries.
The Braille code regulation in the UK
The UK Association of Accessible Formats (UKAAF) is responsible for braille code regulation in the UK. In 2011, the UKAAF board voted to adopt the new Unified English Braille code (UEB). The UK is currently in a period of transition as Standard English Braille (SEB) is being replaced by UEB.
Unified English Braille (UEB)
The Unified English Braille (UEB) code is regulated by the International Council on English Braille (ICEB). It was developed over many years and has now been adopted for use in all the major English Speaking countries of the world. As well as unifying Countries the code also unifies subjects. We now have one code, UEB, to represent both literary and technical subjects. Students will no longer have to learn new codes for maths and science etc.
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.
RNIB online shop
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