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Have you heard about Unified English Braille? Is it used on ADA Signs?

ADA Sign Depot

January 30, 2020

Unified English Braille? Is that a new kind of braille language?

On this page of you can learn more about ADA signs made using Unified English Braille.

All ADA tactile braille signage at ADA Sign Depot can be ordered with braille that complies with the UEB, Unified English Braille.

Unified English Braille, aka, UEB, is not a new kind of braille. It doesn't use a new structure of braille dots or braille cells. What is does is set out a uniform standard way to use Grade 2 Braille for all English language countries and regions to follow. That means ADA signs while made using fully ADA compliant Grade 2 Braille, like the signs on ADA Sign Depot, will eventually also need to conform to the standards laid out in Unified English Braille.

The good news? There is very little difference between the two standards, Grade 2 Braille, and Unified English Braille. Some contractions are different, a few other minor differences, but overall, not much is changed when it comes to UEB on ADA signage.

However, UEB will have a much wider impact on written text, or literary work.

It's just the law of averages. With a limited number of differences between UEB and Grade 2 brailles, and the nature of signs using so few words so that the legend, or message, of the sign is simple and direct, you won't run into a lot of contradictions. But when you have a novel of 75,000 words, you will, by the simple math of it, have to deal with more changes in how the braille is presented in order to be alignment with the evolving UEB standard.

Approved for adoption back in 2012, North America will officially be switching to Unified English Braille (UEB) in January 2016.  

Some of what is hoped to be achieved by implementation of Unified English Braille

  • More consistency, less ambiguity, and fewer exceptions to Braille rules will make Braille easier to produce and may remove some barriers people have while learning braille.
  • Showing more symbols in Braille will give the Braille reader better access to the same information that is available to print readers.
  • Computer translation and back-translation could be produced more quickly and with less human intervention.
  • Reduce errors and ambiguity experienced by those who read contracted Braille on refreshable Braille displays. Braille displays are the equivalent of a screen on a desktop computer or mobile device.
  • Improve back-translation of Braille that’s written using electronic devices, so that Braille users can write in Braille to communicate easily and accurately with non-Braille users.

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