On January 4, we celebrated World Braille Day. In 1829, Louis Braille published the Method of Writing Words, Music, and Plain Song by Means of Dots, for Use by the Blind and Arranged by Them. Today, braille is used as the standard form of reading and writing by people who are blind, partially sighted or deafblind.
2013 was a big year in the braille world. One of this year’s most significant advancements was the continuing transition to Unified English Braille (UEB) across the globe. The traditional braille code included different coding for literature, science, and mathematics. UEB code is the same across all mediums making it easier to learn, read and teach.
In January, the Celebrating Braille, A Canadian Approach manual was updated to reflect Unified English Braille (UEB). This student manual is used to teach braille to new learners and provides Canadian examples of words and sentences.
As of April 1, 2013, all braille material originating from CNIB was produced in Unified English Braille including braille books circulated as part of our library collection materials. This means a simpler process for those learning braille, particularly for those who have been print readers most of their lives.
In June, the new edition of World Braille Usage (often described as "the braille bible) was published, including braille codes for 133 languages—up from 97 languages in the previous edition.
In October, the CNIB National Braille Conference was held in Toronto, ON and offered a number of workshops for educators, transcribers, consumers and parents. It held sessions on Unified English Braille, technology for making braille accessible, and government policies relating to braille and accessibility.
In December, two new braille apps were made available on iTunes. BrailleTouch offers a faster and easier way to type on your device, with features that allow you to type on your touchscreen using braille. MBraille gives you a mobile braille keyboard.
For more details, visit our website and check out Braille 2013: A Year in Review.