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). There followed a four year period of transition until the end of 2015 and UEB has now replaced Standard English Braille (SEB) as the official braille code of the United Kingdom

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. An extensive and up to date list of resources and documents can be found on the UKAAF UEB page

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 introduction of UEB meant that a number of specialist braille codes such as maths, science and languages became redundant. Despite this there still remains a number of specialist braille codes such as chess and  music which remain. This is because there is a limitednumber of unique combinations that can be achieved with six dots of the braille cell.

Braille alphabet card

The braille alphabet card shows the embossed braille alphabet, punctuation marks and numbers, together with the print translation. A single copy of the card can be obtained for free from the RNIB shop or by calling our helpline on 0303 123 9999 and quoting product code: PR10223