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Hello and thank you for your question which was discussed with members of the UEB Literary Committee. We hope our reply is helpful.
You are correct, grouping indicator symbols as defined in UEB §3.4.1 are not on the list of punctuation and indicators in §2.6.2 that may precede a letter or letters-sequence to be considered as standing alone. Grade 1 indicators are also not on the list. Other opening print grouping signs, such as parentheses, brackets, and curly brackets, in addition to the opening transcriber's note indicator, are listed in 2.6.2.
As such, the grade 1 indicator followed unspaced by the opening general grouping indicator—neither of which are listed in §2.6.2—prevents the word "It" from standing alone. The second braille example should be used.
The symbols-sequence example you provided would usually need to be preceded unspaced from the symbol it applies to. The purpose in using braille grouping indicators according to UEB §3.4.1 is to ensure that the preceding braille symbol or indicator applies to all the symbols enclosed by the braille grouping indicators.
This means that a symbol —not space—would be preceding the opening grouping indicator. To be considered as standing alone, with or without those listed symbols in §2.6.2 it must be preceded by a space. "It" is preceded by the grade 1 indicator and the opening grouping indicator.
We would be very interested in knowing why your transcription requires the braille grouping indicators. Examples like this are valuable resources for all transcribers who look for answers in the "Ask an Expert" forums. Would you mind sending an image of the print example you are working on? It may shed some light on other possibilities
Dan Gergen, Chair
UEB Literary Committee