[Unified Braille For All] Why did NZ adopt UEB?
Pete.Osborne at rnib.org.uk
Wed May 9 04:10:00 CDT 2012
Oh dear, I seem to be saying that a lot of what is being said is not
It is not true that blind people reject changes out of hand. The UK
study had a number of parts which tried to understand how blind people
might react to change.
1. Braille authority research sent to 4000 people of which 470 people
responded, the majority being against change. This study did not follow
up the 89% of those who did not respond at all.
2. Further study sending information to around 500 people in total, all
contacted through a phone survey, the majority (87%) could read UEB
literary material without difficulty and were not averse to change.
3. Study of the technical aspects to codes including a taught lesson
and observation study. The results indicated minimal difficulty with
transition to UeB and very considerable support from teachers.
It is certainly the case that human nature leads us to be change
I hope some of this is helpful/informative.
From: uba-bounces at moblind.org [mailto:uba-bounces at moblind.org] On Behalf
Of Christopher Gray
Sent: 08 May 2012 19:13
To: Unified Braille for All
Subject: Re: [Unified Braille For All] Why did NZ adopt UEB?
The standards setting bodies in these countries have made the final
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
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
1. Change is necessary and it is unrealistic for braille readers to
resist change thoughtlessly.
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 science.
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
>> 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
>> (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
>> 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
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