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RNIB Certificate in Contracted Unified English Braille (UEB)

Our distance learning course is aimed at sighted learners, such as parents, teachers, teaching assistants and support workers, who support individuals using braille.

This distance-learning course is aimed at any sighted learner who supports individuals using braille, such as parents, teachers, teaching assistants and support workers. It is also open to anyone who has a specific interest in braille.

The course teaches students the basics of understanding and communicating in contracted Unified English Braille (UEB). It comprises of a year of self-study, with tutor-marked assessments and a final exam.

Course content

Students receive all the materials and tuition needed to complete the course and one opportunity to take the examination.

The course includes the following:

  • the braille alphabet
  • all the contractions of Unified English Braille
  • punctuation signs
  • basic numbering and capitalisation
  • basic formatting and type forms.

It does not cover any of the following:

  • advanced notation
  • specialist codes (e.g. mathematics, science, music, etc)
  • skills in teaching braille to blind individuals.

Course structure

The correspondence course consists of four self-study units, each of which is completed with a tutor-marked assessment. The final examination 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.

All four assessments must be submitted for marking by the date specified and must be completed in order to progress with the course. Each assessment contributes up to 10 per cent of the final grade, with the exam making up the remaining 60 per cent.

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 email (compressed/zipped files). 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 printer and will be provided with a link to download the free Perky Duck software to complete their brailled assessments (please note: this software is for use on a PC only and is not compatible with Mac). An email account is required for the submission of the assessments and for the exam.

The examination

The examination is three hours long and takes place in May/June and October/November each year at the student's place of work or at RNIB in Peterborough.

Students need to be responsible for ensuring that the Perky Duck software is installed correctly, with the specified settings and page size. Students will also need to find an invigilator to monitor their exam and to whom RNIB will send the exam papers (unless the exam is being taken at RNIB).

The pass marks are A-E. Grades F and below are a fail, but students can pay again to retake the exam as many times as they wish.

On passing, students will be accredited with an RNIB Unified English Braille course certificate.

The examination comprises two papers:

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

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.

Enrolment dates

There are two starting dates for the course every year: 1 May and 1 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.

How to enrol

You can purchase the course via our online shop. You will be instructed to download the application form, stating whether you wish to enrol on the May or October intake, and email it to us.

Organisations wishing to receive an invoice should download the course application form on the top right corner of this page. Please note: your application must be accompanied by an official Purchase Order number or we will not be able to accept it.

All completed application forms should be emailed to [email protected]

How much does the course cost?

The cost of the course is £365.00 per person.

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. 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 user's 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 student's personal use only.

Application form