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ICEB Resolutions 2024
Approved by the 8th General Assembly
of the International Council on English Braille
30 may 2024

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Resolution 1: full implementation of technical UEB in braille hardware and software

Whereas many developers/manufacturers of braille hardware/software have not yet fully implemented or adequately maintained the Unified English Braille (UEB) code with respect to mathematics and science and

Whereas inconsistent implementation leads to inequitable access to education, especially in STEM fields and

whereas blind learners and students who use braille consequently are experiencing serious challenges in learning mathematics.

Therefore, this 8th General Assembly of the International Council on English Braille resolves to appeal to all developers/manufacturers of braille hardware and software to take due care to make sure that the Unified English Braille (UEB) code with respect to technical material is fully implemented and appropriately maintained in software and hardware still being supported, to such a standard that it can, with confidence, be used in educational settings.

Resolution 2: improvement of UEB translation tables used in braille translation software implemented in screen readers and braille devices

Whereas, Unified English Braille (UEB), now widely adopted as the standard in countries where English is spoken as a first or second language, has as one of its primary development principles the ability for accurate electronic translation to be done both from print to braille and from braille to print; and

Whereas, some translation packages used in popular screen readers, even when they are largely accurate in translation from print to braille, still yield significant errors when the user types in contracted braille for translation to print; and

Whereas, these preventable inaccuracies in translation to print stand in the way of the use of braille for outward digital communication and unnecessarily create an overall impression that typing in contracted braille is unreliable; and

Whereas, some translation packages do not present these over-arching braille-to-print errors at all, demonstrating that problems in translation to print are not inherent to contracted UEB; and

Whereas, issues in translation to print may contribute to another issue that causes inconvenience for users--that is, the needless persistence of the use of "computer braille" within UEB by some screen readers for certain input fields; and

Whereas, a significant category of braille-to-print translation errors involve observance of numeric mode rules, creating obstacles to full implementation of mathematics in braille software and devices;

Therefore, this 8th General Assembly of ICEB resolves to:

  1. Call upon braille translation software developers to prioritize the improvement of braille-to-print tables of Unified English Braille in software that is used in screen readers and braille devices;
  2. Work with software developers to help bring about such improvement so that electronic braille can be both read and written with accuracy; and
  3. Call upon screen reader developers and manufacturers of braille devices to no longer require a switch to computer braille in input fields.

Resolution 3: reference document to facilitate international use of music scores in braille

Whereas, music braille is not formatted in the same way in all countries, which causes an impediment to international exchange of music scores,

therefore this 8th General Assembly of the International Council on English Braille resolves to:

  1. Task its Music Braille Committee to draft a reference document describing the various ways in which music scores are transcribed in the ICEB member countries in order to better facilitate international exchange of braille music scores.
  2. Collect examples of music formats showcasing transcription differences among countries for transcribers, end-users and software developers to use as a guide to country formatting.
  3. These examples should include:
  4. to work towards harmonising formats in ICEB member countries where practical.

Resolution 4: Wikipedia articles on braille

Whereas, at present, a search of Wikipedia results in 5,343 articles that mention braille; and

Whereas, some of these articles mention braille tangentially, but many do relate to the tactile reading code; and

Whereas, many of these articles contain errors and/or notions about braille that are not correct; And

Whereas, the ICEB Research Committee has already edited the main Wikipedia article on braille.

Therefore, this 8th General Assembly of ICEB resolves to:

Resolution 5: Accessible Books Consortium Catalogue

Whereas, The Marrakesh Treaty has dramatically increased the cross-border availability of braille books throughout the world;

Therefore, this 8th General Assembly asks its full members to:

  1. check if blindness agencies in their countries are uploading braille titles they have produced to the Accessible Books Consortium Catalogue, and, if not, to explore the barriers preventing this from happening, looking for available solutions and
  2. Survey within their countries in order to gauge the uptake in the use of digital books/materials thus strengthening the case for member countries to share as much of their content as possible to the Accessible Books Consortium.

Resolution 6: Technical braille symbols

Whereas, Unified English Braille (UEB), now widely adopted as the standard in countries where English is spoken as a first or second language;

Whereas, UEB is the primary method for reading and writing technical material in braille in most of those countries;

Whereas, the Nemeth code contains several additional mathematical symbols not available in UEB,

Therefore, this 8th General Assembly resolves to assign UEB symbols for technical symbols not currently available.

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Page content last updated: June 2, 2024.