Meeting of the Braille Authority of North America
Canadian National Institute for the Blind; Toronto, Canada
November 18, 1977
The meeting was called to order by the Chairman, Mr. Roberts, at
10:11 a.m. Present were:
Mr. Harold G. Roberts, AAWB Mr. Ralph McCracken, APH
Mrs. Irvin F. Richman, NBA Mr. Robert Gildea, ACM
Mr. Martin Droege, Clovernook Mr. James Haralsen, AEVH
Mr. Floyd Cargill, ACB Mr. E.G. Brown, CNIB
Miss Marion Wurster, AFB Mr. Richard Evensen, LC/DBPH
Mrs. Darleen Bogart, Mrs. Floyd Cargill and Miss Francoise Hebert
(National Director of Library Services for CNIB) were present as guests of the
The meeting began with a welcome.from Mr. Ross Purse of CNIB.
Mr. Roberts distributed copies of the minutes of the June 1976 meeting on
Computer braille. Mr. Gildea cautioned that these were proof copies. The
Protestant Guild for the Blind has undertaken the production of the final copy.
MSC Mr. Cargill moved the adoption of the minutes of the
June 8th meeting as circulated. The motion carried unanimously.
A letter of congratulation offering the support and cooperation of CTEVH was
REPORT OF THE AD HOC COMMITTEE ON THE ORGANIZATION OF BANA
Mr. Brown suggested that the term "Board" be substituted for "National Board"
throughout this report and in our Bylaws.
Mr. Gildea expressed the thanks of the Board to the Committee for their
Mr. Roberts commented that the report contained no provision for the preparation and
adoption of a budget by BANA. He then discussed the establishment of technical
committees. He noted that BANA is the successor to the Braille Authority of the United
States. The grant from the Office of Education was made to Florida State University
because the Braille Authority was not incorporated and therefore could not receive
grant monies from the government. The grant includes a provision that code changes
and new codes must be approved by the Braille Authority. Our Memorandum of
Understanding with Florida State University transfers this provision to the current
Authority, BANA. Therefore, the FSU Technical Committees are in a very real sense
"creatures" of the Braille Authority (and now of BANA).
After some discussion of questions raised by various members of the Board, it
was agreed to consider the Ad Hoc Committee's Report and then decide the specific
way in which we would interact with the Technical Committees established under the
FSU project during the life of the grant.
GC Mrs. Richman suggested that the Board sit as a Committee of the Whole for the
section-by-section consideration of the report and then adopt the final revision in
one motion. The Board's consideration of the Ad Hoc Committee's Report
proceeded through item II before the meeting was recessed for luncheon at
CNIB. The remainder of the report was considered following luncheon.
MSC Mr. Evensen moved the adjournment of the Committee of the Whole. The motion
MSC Mr. Haralsen moved the adoption of the report of the Committee of the Whole.
The report is attached to these minutes and shall be considered a part of these minutes.
The motion carried,
CONSIDERATION OF MR. CARLTON ELDRIDGE'S REQUEST TO REVISE
THE BRAILLE MUSIC CODE
This matter was first brought to our attention in a letter from Mr. Eldridge which was
forwarded to Mr. Roberts by Mr. Car-gill on March 9, 1977.
The Revised International Manual for Braille Music Notation, 1956 specifies that in choral
music, the music is placed first and the words are given beneath and indented. The
1975 Addendum to the Code reverses the order, placing the words first. Mr. Eldridge
requested that BANA consider a return to the format specified in the 1956 Code.
Mr. Roberts forwarded Mr. Eldridge's letter to the FSU Music Braille Committee which
reviewed the situation and recommended unanimously that no change be made. Mrs.
Bettye Krolick, a member of the FSU Music Braille Committee and NBA's Music Braille
Chairman, conducted a small survey among users of braille choral music. The results
were divided exactly evenly.
MSC Mr. Cargill moved that we request a detailed report of the investigation
conducted by the FSU Music Braille Committee on this question. The motion carried.
It was noted that the Addendum had only been adopted in 1975, and therefore,
there has been insufficient time to test the new order in the field.
MSC Mr. Cargill moved that BANA take no further action on this question at this
time. The motion carried.
Mr. Roberts was directed to write Mr. Eldridge informing him that consideration had
been given to his request and of the actions that had been taken.
Mr. Brown commented that, in response to the request from the FSU
project for Canadian representation on the Technical Committees, Ms. Ann
Burrows has been recommended to the Music Braille Committee.
COMPUTER PRODUCED BRAILLE
Mr. Roberts read a letter from Miss Marjorie Hooper dated November 11, 1977.
Miss Hooper asked whether BANA would approve of FSU submitting a grant proposal for
a study of the feasibility of modifying literary braille to make it programmable on a
minicomputer. Mr. Roberts was directed to ask for a copy of the proposal and further
information and circulate her response to the Board. Each board member was asked to
study the information and send his comments to Mr. Gildea, who would organize and
collate the responses for presentation to the Board at our next meeting.
Mr. Evensen reported that LC/DBPH has been having discussion with Dr. Marvin
Berkowitz of AFB concerning an international conference on braille. American
sponsorship might be by LC/DBPH and AFB, but no definite plans have been formulated
as yet. The Conference would probably be held outside of the United States, possibly in
Czechoslovakia at the end of the Library Conference in August, 1978.
Each Board member was asked to consult with his organization and report
back concerning their feeling about the need for such a conference at this time.
Mr. Roberts commented that the World Council for the Welfare of the
Blind would be interested in participating in such a conference and suggested as
an alternative time and place Nigeria in the fall of 1979, either before or after the
meeting of WCWB there.
Mr. Roberts had received two letters from Mrs. William K. Tate, Jr., a member
of the Textbook Format Advisory Committee of the Braille Authority of the United
States, which produced the 1976 Code of Braille Textbook Formats and Techniques.
It was agreed to postpone presentation of Mrs. Tate's second letter since our time
was short and the matter was not urgent.
The first letter advised BANA that a second braille edition of the Code which
would contain the "graphics" had been planned by the Textbook Format Advisory
Committee. Mrs. Tate now asked that BANA undertake the production of this special
Miss Wurster moved that BANA authorize the production of a second,
special braille edition of the 1976 Code of Braille Textbook Formats and
Techniques as outlined in Mrs. Tate's letter to BANA dated October 24, 1977.
The motion carried.
MSC Mr. Haralsen moved that the American Printing House for the Blind
produce the special braille edition of the Code. Carried.
Mr. Droege invited BANA to hold its next meeting in Cincinnati
at Clovernook. The tentative date is late in April, 1978.
MSC Miss Wurster moved the adjournment of the meeting. Carried.
The meeting adjourned at 4:15 p.m.
Mrs. Irvin F. Richman,
ORGANIZATION OF THE BRAILLE AUTHORITY OF NORTH AMERICA
Adopted November 18, 1977
The Chairman of BANA
Answers all correspondence and inquiries concerning BANA which are
of a general nature.
Receives all requests for rulings concerning interpretations of existing codes,
suggestions for alterations in the codes and requests for the development of
1. Refers simple problems of interpretation of a code or of a technical
nature to the appropriate committee for consideration and sends
information copies to the chairmen of the other technical committees.
Informs the originator of the request of the action taken.
A distinction is made between simple requests for clarification of
the meaning of a portion of a code, which would be sent only to the
single technical committee concerned, and objections to portions of a
code or suggestions for code changes which would be circulated to all
of the technical committee chairmen.
2. Presents requests for the alteration of codes or the development of
new codes to the Board which will decide whether BANA wishes to
consider them or not. Informs the originator of the action taken.
The Chairman may, under special circumstances, obtain this
decision through written or oral referenda. All oral decisions must be
confirmed in writing. The objection of two Board members to making a
decision by referendum would require the calling of a meeting.
Receives quarterly and special reports from the technical committees.
Distributes these reports to the Board.
Issues calls for meetings and the agenda for the meeting no less than
thirty (30) days prior to the date of the meeting.
Circulates all reports within ten (10) days after receiving them.
The Board of BANA
Establishes the technical committees, appoints their chairmen
and committee members.
May originate matters to be considered by a technical
Receives proposals for the revision of braille codes or the development
of new codes and directs the appropriate technical committee to
consider them or otherwise disposes of them.
Approves budgets and timetables submitted by the technical committees for
the consideration of problems which have been referred to them.
Reviews and approves or disapproves changes in the braille codes.
Adopts new codes.
Publishes changes in existing codes and new codes and
arranges for their dissemination to the field.
The Technical Committees
The chairman of a technical committee shall be a voting member of that
B. Following his appointment, the chairman of a technical committee
shall submit nominees (preferably two or four) for committee
membership to the Board for appointment.
Each committee shall submit a statement of proposed work, timetable and
budget to the Board for approval.
The work of the committees shall be conducted by mail whenever
possible. When a meeting is necessary, and funds are not available from
other sources, BANA will reimburse committee members for transportation
and per diem in accordance with BANA's guidelines.
The chairman of a technical committee shall issue the call for a committee
meeting at a time and place convenient for the members of the committee.
1. The ruling by a technical committee on the interpretation of an existing
braille code is official. Copies of the ruling must be sent by the chairman
of the committee to the originator of the inquiry and the ruling must
be included in the committee's quarterly report.
2. Code changes
a. Proposed revisions of a braille code must be submitted to the
chairmen of the "other technical committees for their
assurance that the revision does not create any unresolvable
conflicts with another code or create unnecessary difficulties
in computer programming.
If there is a conflict, every effort should be made to resolve it
by joint consideration by the committees concerned. In the event
of an irreconcilable division of opinion, majority and minority reports
shall be submitted to the Board for final decision.
b. Following the review of the proposed changes by the
chairmen of the other technical committees,
the chairman of the technical committee proposing the revision
shall prepare a special report submitting the revision to the Board
of BANA for review and adoption.
3. The development and adoption of new braille codes would follow the
same procedures as those outlined in 2 above for the revision of existing
Each technical committee shall submit quarterly and special reports to the
Board. Quarterly reports shall consist of a detailed record of the committee's
activities and expenditures during the period and shall include all opinions
rendered concerning the interpretation of existing codes. Special reports shall
contain proposals for the revision of a code or the creation of a new code.
Braille Authority of North America
Friday, November 18, 1977
Call to order.
Greetings from Mr. Ross C. Purse, Managing Director, CNIB.
Approval of minutes of June 8th meeting (mailed in advance).
Report of committee re: structure for technical committees.
Standards for choral or vocal ensemble music in braille.
Standards for computer produced braille.
Status of legal incorporation.
Proposal of LC and AFB to plan internation conference on brl.
Adjournment. Sir Arthur Pearson reception.