Upcoming events

Survey on UEB representation of apostrophes and single quotation marks

ICEBAll braille readers, teachers, transcribers and users are invited to have your say on a potential change to the Unified English Braille Code (UEB). Apostrophes and single quotation marks are represented by the same symbol in print but two different symbols in braille, leading to errors in automated translation and on refreshable braille displays. Several options are being considered to use the same symbol for both apostrophes and single quotation marks in braille. Responses will be used by the UEB Code Maintenance Committee of the International Council on English Braille (ICEB) to guide its decision.

ICEB website:
Explanatory document in print: UEB apostrophes options (PDF)
Explanatory document in braille: UEB apostrophes options (BRF)
Survey location: www.surveymonkey/r/UEB-apostrophe
Closing date: 31 July 2017

Sydney Braille Forum Meeting

Our special guests in August will share their experiences teaching braille in South Pacific islands.

Date: Tuesday 8th August
Time: 4.30-6.30pm
Location: Ryde-Eastwood Leagues Club, 117 Ryedale Rd, West Ryde NSW

Art for Students with Vision Impairment – Professional Development Day

human skeleton represented as high contrast images, tactile graphic and wire modelMichael Donnelly of the Statewide Vision Resource Centre (SVRC) will be running his popular fully day workshop on accessible art in regional Victoria.

Explore information on setting up or adjusting your art or classroom to better accommodate your students, issues of access to the visual arts, specialist techniques, budget options and opportunities for “hands-on” art making. Participants will explore works of art under blindfold, investigating the use of visual description, tactile diagrams and touch access. Learn about how Bendigo Art Gallery is making art more accessible to all visitors, including students with vision impairments.

Date: 17 August 2017
Time: 9.30am to 4pm
Location: Bendigo
Registration: online

Dickinson Memorial Literary Competition

using a Perkins braillerQueensland Braille Writing Association (Braille House) is proud to conduct the 2017 Dickinson Memorial Literary Competition, which is open to participants who are legally blind and Australian residents. Pen a short story or poem on the theme of “Belonging” to be in the running to win cash prizes of $350 for first prize or $150 for second prize. The winning entries will also be published in an annual book.

Age groups: Adult (Over 18 years); Senior student (13-17 years) or Junior student (12 years or under)
Categories: Essay or poem
Theme: “Belonging”
Eligibility: Participants must be legally blind and a resident of Australia
Format: Submissions should be in hard-copy Braille, Simbraille or a Duxbury-readable file
Entry fees: $10 per item for Adults and Senior students; $5 per item for Junior students
Closing date: 25 August 2017

The Entry Guidelines and Entry Form can be found at

Queensland Tactual Mapping Committee Meeting

tactile model of QUTDate: Wednesday 6 September 2017
Location: Braille House, 507 Ipswich rd, Annerley QLD
Contact: Terry Boyle


RIDBC Renwick Centre Continuing Education Program invites participation at its two day VISCON conference, supporting children and young adults who are blind or have low vision. The conference will focus on:

  • adaptive technology
  • common eye diseases and strategies
  • curriculum access and adjustments
  • accessibility to printed materials
  • collaborative planning
  • orientation and mobility
  • therapy intervention
  • school based support
  • low vision devices in the classroom
  • NDIS
  • advocacy
  • inclusive schooling

Dates: Thursday 7 and Friday 8 September 2017
Location: RIDBC Renwick Centre in North Rocks, NSW
Contact: Jacqui Cashmore at

 Braille Literacy Challenge

The Braille Literacy Challenge is an excellent opportunity for braille-using students to engage with their peers and demonstrate their braille knowledge and skills.  Held annually at Braille House, it offers a number of reading and writing categories for children and young adults to demonstrate their command of braille.

Registrations: close 31 July 2017
Date: Friday 8 September 2017
Time: 9am to 12.30pm
Location: Braille House, 507 Ipswich road, Annerley QLD
Contact: Kay on (07) 3848 5257

Dot Power

dotsDot Power is a program run by the Statewide Vision Resource Centre (SVRC) in Victoria to help build children’s skills and interest in braille. Eligible Victorian students from 4 years old (pre-school) to Year 3 are invited to participate and get as much braille under their fingers as is possible in one day!

Held termly at the SVRC, students participate in group activities designed to offer opportunities to read and write braille. One-on-one assistance is provided as required.

Tuesday 12 September 2017
Tuesday 21 November 2017
Location: SVRC, 370 Springvale road, Donvale VIC

Trans-Tasman Certificate of Proficiency in Unified English Braille

using a Perkins braillerThe Trans-Tasman Certificate of Proficiency in Unified English Braille is the only form of accreditation available to braille specialists in Australia. All candidates have one full week period in which to sit the test and can elect their preferred week.

Potential candidates are encouraged to ensure their readiness for the test by familiarising themselves with the required reference materials and using the sample papers provided. Applications for the 2017 test are not yet open.

Dates: week beginning 1 or 8 October 2017

NSW Braille Writing Competition Award Night

The Sydney Braille Forum conducts an annual Braille Writing Competition for New South Wales school students who use braille as their literary medium.
bronze medal with the the words "Sydney Braille Forum", "Australian Braille Authority" and a tactile map of NSW with "SBF", "ABA" in braille.

The main aims of the writing competition are:

  • to promote braille as an important literacy tool
  • to encourage students to improve their braille knowledge and skills
  • to provide Vision Support teachers with feedback on the braille knowledge of their students, and
  • to bring together students, families, and educators to celebrate the achievements of competition entrants at a special Braille Competition Award Night.

Kate Forsyth
We are excited to welcome Kate Forsyth as guest author for the annual Braille Writing Competition Awards Night in 2017. Kate is best known for her historical novel, Bitter Greens, but has also written several children’s books including The Gypsy Crown, The Puzzle Ring, The Starthorn Tree, The Wildkin’s Curse, The Starkin Crown and Dragon Gold.

Students, parents, teachers and friends are invited to this celebration of achievements made possible through braille.

Date: Wednesday 22nd November 2017


SVRC logoThe Statewide Vision Resource Centre (SVRC) hosts an yearly expo where you can learn about its services for vision impaired students in Australia and meet with a range of other service and adaptive technology providers.

Date: 28 November 2017
Location: 370 Springvale road, Donvale VIC

Queensland Tactual Mapping Committee Meeting

Tactile map of Brisbane museum districtDate: Wednesday 6 December
Location: Braille House, 507 Ipswich rd, Annerley
Contact: Terry Boyle

Getting in Touch with Literacy conference

Getting in Touch with Literacy is a biennial conference in the USA devoted to all forms of literacy for people who are blind or have low vision – print, braille, auditory, tactile graphics comprehension and the use of assistive technology.

Dates: 6-9 December 2017
Location: New Orleans, Louisiana, USA

World Braille Day

Louis Braille bustWorld Braille Day is celebrated on 4 January each year, in commemoration of the birth of Louis Braille in 1809.

ABA Annual Meeting and Round Table Conference

The ABA Annual Meeting is held in conjunction with the Round Table Conference each year in May. The 2018 Conference will be held in Sydney.

ABA meeting – Saturday 5 May 2018
Round Table Conference – Sunday 6 to Tuesday 8 May 2018
Location: Sydney, Australia

Global Accessibility Awareness Day

Global Accessibility Awareness Day (GAAD) is held on the third Thursday of May each year. Its purpose is to get everyone talking about digital accessibility for people with different abilities.

Date: Thursday 17 May 2018

National Braille Music Camp

Roma Dix with 30th anniversary braille cakeThe National Braille Music Camp is a fantastic opportunity for braille readers to learn, improve, share, transcribe and teach braille music. It is held at Frensham School, Mittagong, New South Wales over a week in June each year.

Date: June 2018
Contact: Roma Dix at for more information, including registration details.

A recording of Tzena Tzena, performed by participants at the Braille Music Camp at the closing night concert in 2013, is provided below.

Regular events

Regional Braille Forum meetings

The ABA Regional Braille Forums meet quarterly, often hosting guest speakers or special events. Please contact your local RBF representatives for details or watch this page for news of upcoming meetings.

Feelix Library Story Mornings

Vision Australia’s Feelix Library provides fun and accessible book kits for young children who are blind or have low vision. The library hosts a story morning for once every two months on a Saturday, offering families a chance to share a story, join in the related tactile activities, and meet with other members of the library. Past story mornings included a beach theme with a large fresh snapper and some very prickly prawns; “The Elephant and the Bad Baby” read by Feelix patron Sigrid Thornton with an elephant trolley that children could sit in to go “rumpeta rumpeta rumpeta” down a bumpy tactile road; and a Christmas story morning with a singalong with Rachel Leahcar.

Sigrid Thornton, families with young children, Feelix book kits and some toy elephants

“The Elephant and the Bad Baby” story morning at Feelix Library

Past events

2010 The launch of the UEB Rulebook

The launch of the UEB Rulebook took place in Sydney, June 2010.

2009 Louis Braille Bicentennial Celebrations in Australia

Australia celebrated the 200 year anniversary of Louis Braille’s birth with a wide range of braille-related Bicentennial activities in 2009.

link to Round Table websiteThe Australian Braille Authority is a subcommittee of the Round Table on Information Access for People with a Print Disability Inc.
Last updated: July 19, 2017 at 20:36 pm