Unified English Braille - A Beginner's Guide from Dolphin

A quick and helpful explanation of Unified English Braille, or UEB for short. We'll show you what it is, how it can improve your braille literacy, and how you can use it.


Braille is a system for tactile reading, mainly used by people who have absolutely no sight, or little sight. Braille is used by all sorts of people, from those in primary school, right the way through to older people. Novels, bills, educational material, even package of medicine have Braille on them now.

Braille is important to me because I can just pick up a CD and read the label I’ve put on it.

Unified English Braille, as the name suggests, is one Braille code, across the English speaking world. As a Braille reader, Unified English Braille gives me more access to different symbols, a richer variety of type form indicators such as Bold, Underline, Italic. There’s also no need for a special computer code for writing web-addresses and email addresses.

It also removes a lot of ambiguity in the existing Braille codes. No matter if you’re reading Austin, algebra or computer code. All the stuff that you’ve learnt for Standard English Braille, most of it will still apply. So for example, there are only nine contractions, out of a hundred and eighty nine which are being deleted in Unified English Braille.

You can certainly already use Unified English Braille on your computer. If for example you have a refreshable Braille display. SuperNova already includes it. You just go into the control panel, the Braille General Preferences, and you select Unified English Braille, and up it will come on you Braille display.

Dolphin Easy Converter also includes Unified English Braille. All you do is go into the settings, in the Braille General tab, you select Unified English Braille. If you start using Unified English Braille on your Braille display, you’ll begin to see what it looks like, begin to get familiar with some of the signs. It is a code that’s being already used in countries like Australia and New Zealand, and will be coming into America, Canada, and the UK.

UKAAF stands for the UK Association of Accessible Formats. For more information about the changes to Unified English Braille, you can go to the UKAAF website, which is www.ukaaf.org and you can download the information about Unified English Braille in PDF Format or as embossable Braille file.