Meeting on the Braille Authority
September 18, 1976
Burlington Hotel, Washington, DC
American Association of Workers for the Blind Harold G. Roberts
American Council of the Blind Durward McDaniel
American Foundation for the Blind Loyal E. Apple
American Printing House f/t Blind Dr. Carson Nolan
Association for Computing Machinery Robert A. J. Gildea
Association for Education of the Visually
Handicapped Mary K. Bauman
Canadian National Institute for the Blind E. G. Brown
Clovernook Home and School f/t Blind Martin F. Droege
Library of Congress Kurt Cylke
National Braille Association Mrs. Bonnie Richman
National Federation of the Blind Dr. Kenneth Jernigan
(Mr. Terry Small, New Zealand Foundation for the Blind attended as an observer)
The meeting was called to order at 9:15 A. M. and the participants were welcomed by
Mr. Roberts who expressed his appreciation to the participants for their interest. He explained
that although the Canadian Council of the Blind and the Blinded Veterans Association were
unable to be represented, they indicated their interest.
Mr. Roberts then gave a brief background statement describing the developments, which led to
the decision of the current three sponsoring organizations, namely AAWB, AEVH and NBA,
authorizing a restructuring of the current Braille Authority and an enlargement of the number of
sponsoring groups. The following points were stressed.
A. The proposed change was initiated by the Braille Authority and its National Advisory
Council, which established an Ad Hoc Committee to study the existing structure and method of
B. The three sponsoring agencies have formally. accepted the basic recommendations of the
ad hoc committee because they believe they could lead, if accepted, to a strengthening of the
mechanism for the development of new braille codes and the adoption of changes in existing
codes which would result from increased financing and greater responsiveness to the needs of
braille producers and readers.
The structure proposed by the ad hoc committee was modified by the current sponsors in order
to achieve greater administrative efficiency.
The participants then engaged in a lively discussion, which resulted in clarification of the
a) The terms of office of the current members of the National Advisory Council and the Braille
Authority have been extended by the three sponsoring Associations until such time as the
proposed new structure is legally established.
b) There are no conditions to the resolution adopted by the three sponsoring associations
inviting increased sponsorship of the Braille Authority. Each new sponsor will be entitled to
designate one representative to serve on the proposed Braille Authority of North America and
each sponsor will have one vote.
c) Although the current three sponsors have jointly proposed a revised structure, the new
Braille Authority of North America will be completely free to alter this proposal in any way they
d) With respect to future financing, the existing plan in which each sponsoring organization
provides $500 per annum will be continued until such time as the new Braille Authority
authorizes a change in light of future budgetary needs. (Since the current sponsors have made
their annual payment for calendar 1976, the next payment will be due on January 1, 1977.)
The representatives of the following organizations indicated their willingness to become
sponsors of the new Braille Authority of North America: American Association of Workers for
the Blind, American Foundation for the Blind, American Printing House for the Blind, Association
for Education of the Visually Handicapped, Clovernook Home and School for the Blind, U. S.
Library of Congress, National Braille Association, and the National Federation of the Blind.
The following representatives indicated their need to consult with their respective organizations
before making a formal commitment: American Council of the Blind, Association for Computing
Machinery, and the Canadian National Institute for the Blind.
A deadline of November 15, 1976 was agreed to for providing Mr. Roberts with a written
acceptance of the invitation to become sponsors of the Braille Authority of North America
It was further agreed that an organizing meeting of BANA will be held on Thursday, December
2, 1976 in Chicago, Illinois. Mrs. Richman and Dr. Jernigan will cooperate in soliciting the most
advantageous hotel in which to meet, either in downtown Chicago or at the airport depending on
costs and availability of a meeting room.
After this selection is made, Mr. Roberts, who agreed to continue as temporary chairman, will
send out a formal notice of the meeting together with a tentative agenda.
After the participants were warmly thanked for their interest and cooperation, the meeting was
adjourned at 11:45 A. M.
Harold G. Roberts