The overview in Austin assumes little to no knowledge of UEB. With that said, some knowledge is always helpful in more quickly understanding the concepts presented. We are also preparing to start doing workshops that cover certain topics, using UEB as the base code (so, workshops as we've always done, but with UEB rather than EBAE as the base code).
The UEB code book can be confusing, I agree. I also went through the Australian course and found it helpful...though the first several lessons were a bit redundant for someone who already knows braille. It was a good refresher for me though!
NLS is working very closely with NFB to create an updated instruction manual using for UEB. We've been told it should be ready by January, 2015.