[Unified Braille For All] Why did NZ adopt UEB?
chris at moblind.org
Tue May 8 13:13:15 CDT 2012
The standards setting bodies in these countries have made the final decision.
Ultimately, it seems to work like this:
1. Standards setting bodies recognize a need to consider change.
2. Blind people oppose any and all changes out of hand.
3. Standards bodies recognize that "no change" just isn't a viable alternative.
But, many braille readers will not accept this.
4. Standards setting bodies have gone about creating change as they can with or
without their braille-reading constituency.
It is a scenario in which everybody loses. Readers are deprived of an
opportunity to have a voice in change. Authorities become disrespected and this
may lead to them being ignored.
For these reasons, I take a strong but not entirely inflexible position as
1. Change is necessary and it is unrealistic for braille readers to resist
2. UEB does not provide an appropriate mechanism for change in the United
States. Whether it does for other countries I cannot say. But we chose a
different path regarding numbers in 1951 and to change that path is wrong both
for readers and for the entire braille infrastructure in the United States.
3. For us to effect change one of two things must happen. Either we adopt
NUBS, probably the most rational thing to do, or we insist that UEB restructure
itself to accommodate lower numbers or a better system for handling math and
4. Adopting UEB in the United States would be the worst thing we could do for
braille in the United States. General readers will not support it because of
the many contraction changes, necessary only because of the upper number usage.
It provides a braille system that will hold back most students who wish to excel
in math and science when compared to current Nemeth Code users.
On Tue, 8 May 2012, Laura De Vries wrote:
> If there's so many people and countries opposed to it, what's causing and
> driving the motivation for UEB?
> ----- Original Message ----- From: "Susan Jolly" <easjolly at ix.netcom.com>
> To: "Unified Braille for All" <uba at moblind.org>
> Sent: Tuesday, May 08, 2012 11:04 AM
> Subject: [Unified Braille For All] Why did NZ adopt UEB?
>> Chris, I agree that it appears that the NZ transition process is going
>> smoothly. But this is not surprising given that something like only 100
>> people were directly affected and they already had a very strong
>> centralized structure. (They did not mention post-secondary issues.)
>> Chris asked why NZ adopted UEB despite some experts there understanding
>> that Nemeth was better for math.
>> The few reasons I've heard relate to the advantage of Trans-Tasman unity.
>> (The Tasman Sea is what the part of the Pacific Ocean between Australia and
>> New Zealand is called.)
>> However, my guess is that another reason is that NZ did not feel they could
>> rely on the United States not to adopt the UEB and didn't want to be the
>> only ICEB country left with Nemeth.
>> The underlying issue, which is more important for us, is to understand the
>> BANA decision process and the legal ramifications.
>> My contact in Australia told me that there was significant opposition to
>> the adoption of UEB there during the decision process and also at the last
>> open meeting held on the topic which I think was in 2005. (The contact was
>> at the meeting and stayed afterward.) But the Australian Braille Authority
>> decided what they wanted to decide nonetheless.
>> By the way, here in New Mexico there was recently a mayoral vote held at a
>> meeting. More people wanted to get into the meeting than the fire marshal
>> would permit. So even though the people at the meeting did elect a mayor,
>> the election was ruled invalid as being in violation of the state's open
>> meeting law.
>> Susan Jolly
>> UBA mailing list
>> UBA at moblind.org
> UBA mailing list
> UBA at moblind.org
Christopher Gray, Executive Director
Missouri Council of the Blind
St. Louis, MO 63109
Phone: (314) 832-7172
Toll-free: (800) 342-5632
Fax: (314) 832-7796
More information about the UBA