What is UEB? Why are we changing the braille code?
UEB stands for Unified English Braille. It is unifying in that most English-speaking countries around the world have adopted it as their official braille code. This allows for exchange of materials and reduces duplication efforts. It is also unifying in that it combines several codes into one. Previously, there were separate codes for literary (narrative) works, computer notation, math and science, music and linguistics. Music and the International Phonetic Alphabet for linguistics are already international codes, so they remain as they are. The United States is keeping Nemeth code for math and science (for the most part), but all other countries are using UEB math. Wisconsin is among those states using Nemeth for our students. Computer notation will still be used for computer studies and programming, but most of us will be using UEB for things like email addresses.
UEB has a much greater one-to-one correspondence of print to braille symbols. Print can be represented much more accurately and efficiently, giving greater understanding of print conventions for increased success in school and work. Braille can be electronically entered and reproduced in print more accurately, so the need for human intervention is reduced. The Internet will be experienced much more cleanly with refreshable braille displays since electronic links and addresses will be readily produced without computer confusion as to what the braille symbols mean. Speed, independence, availability and comprehension will all be increased.