Braille formatting in Australia

ABA Rules and Guidelines for Formatting Braille

The Australian standards for braille formatting, along with recommended guidelines for best practice, are outlined and illustrated in the ABA Rules and Guidelines for Formatting Braille (2016). This is a comprehensive document with rules, guidelines, examples and instructions on how to achieve the desired layout using Word and the Duxbury Braille Translator. It is an essential reference for Australians wishing to sit the Trans-Tasman Certificate of Proficiency in Unified English Braille, as the rules are used as the basis for marking of formatting.

The document is available in as PDF for print readers or embossable braille for touch readers.

The embossable braille version should be embossed on A4 paper at 30 cells per line and 25 lines per page. When opening the braille .brf files using the Duxbury Braille Translator, ensure that “read formatted braille without interpretation” is checked in the Global menu under Formatted Braille Importer.

An additional .brf file intended for use as a braille e-book will be added soon.

ABA workshop on formatting with the Duxbury Braille Translator
2017 Round Table Conference

Kathy RiessenThe Australian Braille Authority’s workshop at the 2017 Round Table Conference focused on how to achieve Australian braille formatting using the Australian template in the Duxbury Braille Translator. Thanks are extended to Kathy Riessen for running this informative session.

ABA workshop on formatting guidelines
2016 Round Table Conference

At the 2016 Round Table Conference in Melbourne, the Australian Braille Authority hosted a workshop to introduce the new ABA Rules and Guidelines for Formatting Braille, explaining the principles upon which they are based and providing additional examples of their use. The workshop was conducted by ABA Leona Holloway and Kathy Riessen.

The workshop documents are available for download:

  • 2016 ABA Formatting Workshop handout in print (PDF) or braille (BRF)
  • 2016 ABA Formatting Workshop sample with comments in print (PDF) or braille (BRF)

ABA and formatting, keynote address to SPEVI 2017

Kathy Riessen speaking at SPEVI 2017Kathy Riessen represented the ABA as keynote speaker at the 2017 Biennial Conference of the South Pacific Educators in Vision Impairment (SPEVI). She spoke about the work of ABA and gave an introduction to the 2016 new guidelines on formatting braille. Her presentation is available in Word, Powerpoint, DXB (for embossed braille) or BRF (for refreshable braille) formats.

Formatting of technical materials

ABA is currently compiling a document with examples of recommended formatting for braille mathematics. Your input would be greatly appreciated. Please contact us at or via the ozbrl listserv if you have examples to share or suggestions for items you would like included.