“In the world of vision loss, the invention of
braille must be compared to the invention of the printing press – its birth was nothing short of a revolution.


June • Issue #1

This newsletter is designed to keep you up to date about what is happening in your BLC, to share with you upcoming events and useful resources. Please send feedback or comments to info@blc-lbc.ca

The Big Brailler Bounce Initiative

Thanks to the hard work and creativity of Myra Rodrigues, BLC has launched an exciting initiative that is putting braillers in the hands of those who need them. If you are in need of a brailler or have one you’d like to donate, please send an email to info@blc-lbc.ca.

Many individuals and groups have contributed in some way to the Brailler Bounce, and we are very grateful for their assistance. I would like to take this opportunity to thank all who donated braillers or helped to deliver them. I would also like to thank Laura Haydon of the Canadian Helen Keller Centre for the tremendous amount of work she has done in cleaning and repairing braillers for us.

Since the initiative began we have provided braillers to students, seniors and beginning braille users from BC to Newfoundland. For more information on the Big Brailler Bounce please see our events page at the following link: http://www.brailleliteracycanada.ca/en/about-us/events

Help Wanted for BLC Committees!

As you are all aware, BLC is an organization run exclusively by volunteers. Apart from the Board of Directors we have several committees to carry out the work of BLC. Due to limited human and financial resources, we are not able to do everything that we would like to do.

The following committees have recently been established and are in need of additional members:

Membership: This committee is responsible for managing membership data. In conjunction with the communications committee, it will also develop and implement strategies for reaching out to current and potential BLC members.

Communications Committee: this committee is responsible for managing communications to BLC members (e.g. email updates and content for the web site).

Braille Formats Committee: This committee will review guidelines pertaining to braille formatting and make recommendations regarding their use in Canada. These include – but are not limited to – guidelines for braille signage and for the production of transactional documents (such as statements and bills).

If you are interested in joining any of these committees, please email info@blc-lbc.ca.

As always, we welcome your suggestions as to how we can improve BLC and offer more to our members. We also very much appreciate those who are willing to help us implement their suggestions.

Translation of the UEB Rule Book

Earlier this year BLC applied for a grant from Canadian Heritage that will enable us to oversee the translation of the UEB rule book into French. The reason for this is that there are several braille producers (in Quebec, but also in other parts of the world) who transcribe French braille but do not necessarily know English well enough to work through some of the intricacies of the code. It should be noted that only the explanations will be translated; the examples and word lists will remain in English. The International Council on English Braille (ICEB) has graciously given us permission to undertake this project.

I am happy to report that we have received funding for this project from Canadian Heritage, and the translation is now underway. Transcribers from l’Institut Nazareth et Louis Braille (INLB) will be working with us to verify the translation. The French version of the UEB rule book will be available on our web site later this year.

On behalf of BLC I would like to thank both Canadian Heritage and the Cajole Inn Foundation for their generous financial contributions to this project. I would also like to thank CNIB, whose ongoing support of BLC has helped to make this initiative possible.

Canadian National Standards

A small committee of Shared Vision BC is in the process of updating the Canadian National Standards for the Education of Children and Youth who are Blind or Visually Impaired including those with Additional Disabilities. This is an important document that unifies the country in regard to quality educational services for students who are blind or visually impaired in the school system. Stakeholders from across Canada provided input for the original 2003 document. The first revision was sent out to the Nation by survey in order to get feedback from Stakeholders from across Canada. The survey was in three parts: demographic information, standards review, and indicators review, and also asked for volunteers to assist with the next stages of the process to get more general National representation. The BC committee then reviewed the comments and worked on a second draft for consultation. The hope is to have the final draft ready for approval by Shared Vision Canada at the Seeing Beyond the Horizon Conference to be held in Vancouver in May 2016.

UEB Technical Standards Committee

The Canadian Association of Educational Resource Centres (CAER) along with BLC commissioned a committee with representation from the main educational resource centres and alternate format producers in Canada. The committee worked on the development of National Standards for the transcription of UEB Technical Material to harmonize formatting and style and encourage consistency where there is more than one way to transcribe something. A group of representatives from all over Canada met on a number of occasions using web conferencing to come to consensus on a number of questions, and a document has been produced which is available on the PRCVI website under Braille Resources

BLC Treasurer

BLC would like to thank Aimee Ubbink for all her hard work and dedication as the BLC Treasurer, Aimee is now stepping down from this role, but will remain an active member of BLC board. If you are interested in volunteering for this interesting and important role with BLC then please contact Jen Goulden (Chair) info@blc-lbc.ca to show your interest.

Seeing Beyond the Horizon 2016

Seeing Beyond the Horizon will be held in beautiful Vancouver, B.C., May 5 through 7, 2016, the Conference is for Educators, Parents and Professionals of Infants, Children, Youth and Young Adults who are Blind, Deafblind or Partially Sighted. BLC will be holding its AGM during the conference. The Call for Papers is now open – check out the website at Seeing Beyond the Horizon 2016

Links and Multimedia

Check out this very fun video about braille: Louisiana School for the blind

Learn or update to UEB:
Full UEB Certification course
Upgrade EBAE Certification to UEB

For lots in interesting information on UEB check out the International Council on English Braille

BLC on Social Media

Braille Literacy Canada is now on Facebook, Twitter and Linkedin! Find us there to receive news about BLC and braille, to stay informed, and to join a network of others devoted to braille just like you.

Twitter Logo @brllitcan

Braille Literacy Canada

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