On this page, you will find a list of recommended materials available to assist proofreaders and transcribers who are already certified by NLS under the rules of English Braille, American Edition to gain familiarity with the rules of Unified English Braille and to prepare for the examination to achieve a letter of proficiency in UEB from NLS.
Unless otherwise noted, links to the following recommended downloadable resources can be found at brailleauthority.org/ueb.html.
The ABCs of UEB
This document from the Braille Authority of North America, authored by Constance Risjord, outlines the major differences between English Braille, American Edition (EBAE) and UEB. Although this is not a complete instruction manual, it provides examples and practice exercises, which allow people who already know EBAE to quickly build on their knowledge of braille to understand UEB. It is available in PDF, BRF, and HTML, and includes answers for the exercises.
CNIB Transcriber's UEB Course
This self-directed course, intended for those already knowledgeable about braille transcribing or proofreading, can be downloaded in PDF, Word, or BRF. By the end of the course, participants will understand the basic principles of UEB, be familiar with the most commonly used symbols, and know the rulebook well enough to find and use the symbols needed to transcribe literary material. It also includes answers for the exercises.
Developed by the Royal Institute for Deaf and Blind Children in Sydney, Australia, this thorough and free online course provides preparation for an Australian UEB certificate, which is not recognized in the United States, but the course has been a tool used by many who have earned letters of proficiency from NLS. The course can be taken without enrolling for the Australian certificate. Two versions of the course are available: one for those accessing the screen visually at uebonline.org, and one that can be accessed by those using screen-reader technology with a refreshable braille display at accessible.uebonline.org.
Instruction Manual for Braille Transcribing, UEB Edition 2015
This new edition of the instruction manual from the National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped, Library of Congress, while intended to teach braille transcribing from scratch, contains drills and reading practices that can be used by any transcriber or proofreader for self-study. Already-certified transcribers and proofreaders should not submit the lessons for grading. The lessons can be downloaded from nfb.org/programs-services/braille-certification/literary-braille-transcribing.
Many sample documents are available from the website of the Braille Authority of North America in BRF as well as simulated braille PDF formats. There are recipes, chapters from books, famous speeches, and the like. Please visit brailleauthority.org/ueb.html.
For braille readers who are patrons of the NLS, hundreds of books are available in UEB for download from NLS's braille and audio reading download service at nlsbard.loc.gov.
Examination for Letter of Proficiency in UEB
To be eligible to take this examination, you must already hold a certificate from the National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped, Library of Congress as a transcriber or proofreader. Once you have used the above resources to become thoroughly familiar with UEB, you may request to take the examination for a letter of proficiency in UEB by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org to be added to a waiting list. The examination tests both braille reading and transcribing skills. Successful examinees will receive from the NLS a letter of proficiency in UEB, which is an add-on to an existing NLS certificate.