Braille is a writing system, not a language.”


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UEB Virtual Party Teleconference - November 19, 2016

Are you a user of contracted braille? Have you been hearing all about UEB but don’t really understand how it differs (if at all) from the braille code you know? Are you wondering why UEB was created and what benefits it provides?

The UEB Party model, launched in 2013, is a community-based approach to sharing basic information about UEB to those who use contracted braille. For the first time, braille users from across the country are invited to join in for a virtual UEB party from the comfort of their homes!

Date: Saturday, November 19th, 2016
Time: 1 PM Eastern, 10 AM Pacific
Duration: One and a half hours
Location: Teleconference (by phone). Participants who register will be sent the call-in information
Who can participate? You must be a user of contracted braille to participate. Please note that participation is limited to braille users who have not already attended a UEB party in person.
Registration deadline: Friday, October 28th, 2016

Unified English Braille (UEB) is an update to the braille code that has been adopted in English-speaking countries, including Canada. It eliminates the differences among the braille codes used in different English-speaking countries, which facilitates the sharing of braille materials across borders. But how different is UEB from the previous version of the braille code and what changes, if at all, will you notice as a braille user? If you have questions about what UEB is and want to learn about the main changes it introduces, then this interactive workshop is for you!

Join BLC President Jen Goulden, BLC Secretary Natalie Martiniello and Myra Rodrigues, creator of the UEB party format, as they tell you all about how UEB came to be, the benefits of UEB, and what it is all about. Myra Rodrigues has been travelling across the country hosting UEB Parties, a fun and interactive way to learn all about the changes in UEB. These parties have served as an excellent way for users of contracted braille to hear all about UEB while at the same time celebrating their love for braille! Participants of the UEB party all receive a special UEB kit that contains a hardcopy braille booklet which summarizes the main changes in UEB.

Participants will leave with a good understanding of the benefits of UEB, the main changes it introduces, and a list of braille-related resources.

To register, email Jen Goulden at before Friday, October 28th, 2016, and provide your name and mailing address. Note that the mailing address is important so that we can mail you a UEB kit needed for you to participate and follow along during the workshop!

Classy Cyborgs

The Classy Cyborgs is a team of 13-15 year old students from Aurora Ontario who are on a mission to help solve the Braille literacy crisis. The kids are developing self directed learning software for visually impaired children to learn the Braille alphabet and basic math. Although sighted children enjoy a myriad of computer learning programs, there is a void for visually impaired children. Our mission is to help solve the Braille literacy crisis by developing self-directed learning software that is accessible for the blind. A fun and engaging app, the Treasure Box Braille Learning System, connects with a portable refreshable Braille simulator via USB and Bluetooth. Children can learn Braille on their own, anywhere and at anytime. The team is collaborating with engineers at York University to build our prototypes. We are kids designing learning software for kids and hope to level the playing field for children with learning disabilities.

STEP 1: Register at You will then receive a confirmation email.
STEP 2: From May 2 - May 16, visit our project idea’s web page at
STEP 3: We get bonus points when you share our project idea through Facebook and Twitter. You can vote everyday by clicking the VOTE button on our web link and click the Facebook and Twitter buttons for bonus votes as well

The Big Brailler Bounce Initiative:

During 2015 one of BLC’s braille promotion activities involves getting unused Perkins braillers out of those dark storage places and into the hands of braille users who need them.

Yes, let’s bounce those unused and unwanted wonderful Perkins braillers currently hidden away in cupboards and under beds into the hands of braille users a cross Canada who would love to put an unwanted brailler to good use!

If you have a brailler that you are no longer using and would like to pass it on to someone who needs one, please contact Jen Goulden at If the brailler requires servicing, that will be taken care of prior to passing it on to its new owner.

If you need a brailler or know someone who does...again, please email Jen Goulden at the above address with contact information for follow-up.

“The Perkins Brailler has helped generations of blind and visually impaired individuals express the contents of their hearts and minds. It's been the braillewriter of choice at schools and among transcribers. Though first introduced in 1951, surprisingly few modifications have been made to the Perkins Brailler: the machine you use today is virtually identical to a Perkins Brailler your parent or grand-parent could have used.

How has the Perkins Brailler managed to remain relatively unchanged for all these years? Perhaps it's that the device's inventor, David Abraham, got it right the first time. Abraham invented a device that perfectly marries ease-of-use with tough-as-nails durability.” (taken from Fred’s Head from APH, a Blindness Blog)

This is a one-year initiative so please don’t delay!

International Tactile Book Competition: Invitation to Participate! 

Tactile Vision Graphics is inviting parents, professionals, creative people who would like to try their hand at designing a tactile book to enter this competition. If you value the importance of more tactile illustrated books, better in quality, more tactually efficient, for all visually impaired children, then this competition is the place for you!