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.
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; and
- the volunteers who provided assistance that contributed to the smooth running of the meeting.
The Braille Window Project was held in conjunction with the ICEB General Assembly.
The Fifth ICEB General Assembly was held in South Africa in May 2012. Australia’s delegation, appointed by the ABA, consisted of Christine Simpson, Bill Jolley, Josie Howse and Leona Holloway. Bill Jolley was re-elected to the ICEB Executive as Treasurer. John Simpson was also in attendance. A report of the Australian delegation (doc, 3.2MB) or (brf 20kb) gives more information, including the resolutions of the Assembly. We thank the Round Table and those members who contributed funds enabling the Australian delegation’s attendance at the General Assembly.
The General Assembly flagged a change of emphasis for ICEB; with the coding of UEB virtually complete it is time to refocus ICEB’s energy on the promotion of Braille generally and the promulgation of UEB, particularly in developing countries.
The Sixth ICEB General Assembly was hosted by the National Federation of the Blind in Baltimore, USA. Australia’s delegation was led by Jordie Howell, who was joined by Bill Jolley, Josie Howse and Leona Holloway. Leona was appointed to the position of Public Relations Officer on the ICEB Executive and Jordie continues to Chair the Braille Music Committee.