Alliance for Braille Literacy

December 5, 2013

MCB News Wire

Tomorrow afternoon at 1:30 P.M. Central time, we begin the Annual conference of the Alliance on Braille Literacy. We urge all who care about braille and who care about blind kids being able to compete in today's academic world to come and learn about this Alliance.

The conference will be broadcast live at and we will start the feed early to give everybody a chance to connect. We will do our best to take questions via Skype, but we will definitely take questions and comments via email throughout the conference.

Finally, follow us on Twitter at @unifiedbraille for updates from now through the end of the conference and beyond.


Alliance for Braille Literacy
Annual Meeting

December 6-7, 2013

Missouri Council of the Blind
5453 Chippewa Street
St. Louis, MO 63109
(314) 832-7172

Note: This conference will be broadcast via Internet at where you will find the Listen links and broadcast schedule.

Friday, December 6

1:30 P.M. -- Introductions and General Housekeeping Matters; Appointment for Notetaker and keeper of Task lists.

1:45 P.M. -- Why Are We Here? Speaker: Christopher Gray, Provisional President, Alliance for Braille Literacy. Chris describes the history of unification, where we are today, and where we need to go.

2:30 P.M. -- The Philosophy of BRL2000 and Future Enhancements That May Occur. Speaker: Dr. Robert Stepp, President, BRL2000. Dr. Stepp provides a brief overview of BRL2000, highlighting its philosophy, advantages, and primary users/customers. He then discusses the roadmap for possible future developments as he sees it today.

3:00 P.M. -- The Nemeth Uniform Braille System: Code Books, Tutorials and Training Manuals, and Training for Readers. Speaker: Joyce Hull. Joyce provides an overview of available training materials created and under development for NUBS.

3:15 P.M. -- Break.

3:30 P.M. -- Alliance For Braille Literacy Bylaws, a Final Analysis and Review. Presiding: Christopher Gray, Provisional President. The governing Bylaws for ABL will undergo a final review, be modified if/where necessary, and put up for final adoption.

4:30 P.M. -- Election of Officers and Director.

4:45 P.M. -- The Notetaker Project. Speakers: Christopher Gray and Imke Durre. Implementing NUBS on braille notetakers is one of many key steps that must be undertaken. Chris will discuss this with an update and Imke will share past experiences in this arena.

5:00 P.M. -- Recess.

Saturday, December 7, 2013

8:30 A.M. -- Coffee and pastries will be served at the MCB office.

9:00 A.M. -- Forming a Strategic Plan for 2014. Moderator: Christopher Gray. The need for a strategic plan will be discussed and the means to get a plan formed throughout the day.

9:15 A.M. -- A Review of the ABL Vission Statement and Purpose.

9:30 A.M. -- Establishing a set of short and/or longer-term goals based on the mission and purpose statements.

11:30 A.M. -- The Establishment of Committees. We begin the work of creating committees and/or accepting individual assignments based on the work discussed above.

12:00 P.M. -- Lunch. Each attendee will have selected what they wish from the St. Louis bread Company menu and lunch will be delivered around this time.

Subtheme for the Afternoon: Keys to the Kingdom. Accomplishing Our Objectives

1:15 P.M. -- Membership. Selecting the best ways to get members and taking on roles to do so.

1:35 P.M. -- Building a Transcriber Base. Moderator: Joyce Hull. To be read, braille must first be transcribed. How do we begin to get this done?

1:50 P.M. -- Creating a Base of Reading Materials. If there were five pieces of material to introduce readers to NUBS, what would they be? What would you most like to read to get an idea of NUBS?

2:15 P.M. -- The ABL Website. Moderator: Dr. Robert Stepp. Dr. Stepp reviews the ABL website in detail. A discussion will be held about fleshing it out, enhancing it, and promoting it.

3:00 P.M. -- Break.

3:15 P.M. -- Approaching Educators Around the Country. Moderator: Dr. Robert Stepp. A major key is to make educators in mainstream blindness education and schools for the blind (COSB) understand the value of NUBS and the pitfalls of UEB as it is currently being implemented. We will brainstorm on the best ways to do this.

3:45 P.M. -- An Introduction to NUBS for the Uninitiated. Presenter: Joyce Hull. In this brief introduction, Joyce will provide the background and tools that will enable a blind person to read and transcribe general NUBS materials.

4:45 P.M. -- Wrap Up and Final Comments.

5:00 P.M. -- Adjourn.