History of UEB in Australia

The following documents provide a record of Australia’s decision to adopt UEB and the subsequent implementation of UEB in Australia.

Braille Codes at the Cross Roads (doc 44kb) was written by Bill Jolley in April 2003. It gives background information regarding Australia’s decision to adopt UEB.

Braille Codes in Australia (doc 25kb) was written by Bill Jolley in February 2004 and is an update of his earlier paper.

The Third ICEB General Assembly gave the Green light for Unified English Braille on 2 April 2004, resolving that the code was sufficiently complete for recognition as an international standard for English-language Braille that may now be considered by member countries for possible adoption as their national braille code.

The Australian Braille Authority resolved to adopt UEB (doc 20kb) as Australia’s official braille code at its Annual Meeting in May 2005.

Unified English Braille: Australians Blazing the Trail was written by ABA Chair, Bill Jolley, and published in the Journal of Vision Impairment and Blindness. It describes Australia’s implementation of UEB as of September 2005.

Australian involvement in the ICEB

The International Council on English Braille (ICEB) was founded in Toronto, Canada in 1991. Australia’s Joan Ledermann was elected as a Member At-Large to the Executive Committee.

The First ICEB General Assembly was held in Kent, UK, from 24 to 26 October 1995. Australia’s delegation consisted of Joan Ledermann, Josie Howse, Julie Azzopardi and Jacqui Booty. Joan Ledermann was elected as incoming President of the ICEB.

The Second ICEB General Assembly was held in Baltimore, USA, in November 1999. It was presided by Australia’s Joan Ledermann in her role as Chair of ICEB. Australia’s delegation consisted of Bill Jolley, Josie Howse, Bruce Maguire and Gillian Gale. Paula Barling was also in attendance.

The Third ICEB General Assembly was held in Toronto, Canada, from 28 March to 2 April 2004. Australia’s delegation consisted of Bill Jolley and Josie Howse. Leona Holloway was also in attendance.

delegates seated and standing behind a table with the ICEB member country names

Delegates to the 2004 ICEB General Assembly.

The Fourth ICEB General Assembly was held in Melbourne, Australia, in April 2008. Australia’s delegation consisted of Bruce Maguire, Josie Howse, Bill Jolley and Christine Simpson. Bill Jolley was elected to the ICEB Executive as Treasurer. A number of Australian observers also attended. Thanks were given in the Resolutions of the Assembly to:

  • Vision Australia, for its considerable support and excellent hospitality;
  • the Australian Braille Authority and the local organizing committee for hosting this Assembly and, in particular, to John Simpson, Bill Jolley, and the excellent braille transcribers for all their efforts that ensured a successful meeting;
  • the observers for their participation and contributions to the success of the meeting;
  • the volunteers who provided assistance that contributed to the smooth running of the meeting;
The 2008 ICEB General Assembly dinner in Melbourne, Australia

The 2008 ICEB General Assembly dinner in Melbourne, Australia

The Braille Window Project was held in conjunction with the ICEB General Assembly.

two people touching glass windows covered in transparent braille

Braille Window at the Fourth ICEB General Assembly in Melbourne.
Copyright: Anne Walton

Information concerning the Fifth ICEB General Assembly in South Africa 2012 is given on our main UEB page.


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: December 3, 2013 at 7:42 am