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  • #34675
    Bama Braille
    Please help us clarify. What is the direction of UEB and math. Should our transcribers be learning Nemeth within UEB contexts or UEB technical?

    We have all asked that question: "Should our transcribers focus on Nemeth within UEB contexts or UEB for technical material?" (or "Should I focus on Nemeth-within-UEB or on solely UEB?")

    The answer is probably "Both." because every individual student must be provided with the transcription that best suits their training and abilities, and both codes are being used and will continue to be used for math and science materials. The training that a student receives depends mostly on where (i.e., in what U.S. state) they receive instruction.


    The following are four notes about BANA’s (Braille Authority of North America) positions concerning UEB and Nemeth-in-UEB in the United States. (Canada has not retained Nemeth Code as an official code, so solely UEB is used for all Canadian materials.)


    1. UEB should be used for all literary material.

     “… the Braille Authority of North America (BANA) adopts Unified English Braille to replace the current English Braille American Edition in the United States …”  (from the motion to adopt UEB, passed 11/2/12

    2. When material is technical (not just literary), Nemeth can be used to represent the actual math and technical notation within the material.

     “When Nemeth Code is to be used for mathematics and science, the actual math and technical notation is presented in Nemeth Code or the Nemeth-based Chemistry Code, as applicable, while the surrounding text is presented in UEB. ...” (from the Guidance for Transcription Using the Nemeth Code within UEB Contexts

    3. The customer (or reader or teacher) and the transcribing agency (or transcriber) work together to determine if material is technical or literary. 


    4. In material determined to be technical, whether Nemeth-in-UEB or solely UEB will be used is up to the customer (or reader or teacher). 

     “The Braille Authority of North America (BANA) recognizes and appreciates the genuine concerns from the braille community regarding the transition to Unified English Braille (UEB). BANA stands by our original motion to adopt UEB as a complete code as well as the implementation statement issued in 2014 in which we expressed that the Nemeth Code remains integral to braille in the United States. The Board of BANA could not reach consensus regarding the establishment of a single standard code for technical materials for braille in the United States. The decision to use UEB or the Nemeth Code within UEB context for technical materials should be made based on braille readers' individual needs.”  (from November 18, 2015 Press Release


    Bama Braille, I suspect "Both." is probably not the answer you were hoping for. Nonetheless, it is the most honest answer we can give. Please share your follow-up concerns and questions here!


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