BRAILLE AUTHORITY OF NORTH AMERICA
Tuesday, May 13, 2008 9:00 AM-5:00 PM
Wednesday, May 14, 2008 9:00 AM-5:00 PM
Thursday, May 15, 2008 9:00 AM-12:00 PM
Association for the Education and Rehabilitation of the Blind and Visually Impaired
Raleigh, North Carolina
Callto Orderem esas ke iedia ae n aane a a a AA ae a tlio Judy Dixon
BANA chair Judith Dixon called the meeting to order at 9:00 AM.
Welcome: Lisa Hall, CCBVI representative; Tracey Gaines, representing BIA; and Ann
Wadsworth, CAER representative
Seating of BANA Members, New Representatives ............c::cccceesseeeeeeeees Judy Dixon
Lisa Hall was appointed by Clovernook Center for the Blind and Visually Impaired to
serve on BANA through 2010
Self-Introductions ..kveaien cies ads ey nates Naveen as Representatives and Observers
Kim Charlson, American Council of the Blind (ACB)
Frances Mary (FM) D’ Andrea, American Foundation for the Blind (AFB)
Mary Nelle McLennan, American Printing House for the Blind (APH)
Diane Wormsley, Association for Education and Rehabilitation of the Blind and Visually
Mary (May) Davis, Associated Services for the Blind (ASB)
Tracey Gaines (attending for Bonnie Grimm), Braille Institute of America (BIA)
Anne Wadsworth, Canadian Association of Educational Resource Centres for Alternate
Format Materials (CAER).
Lisa Hall, Clovernook Center for the Blind and Visually Impaired (CCBVI)
Darleen Bogart, CNIB (Canadian National Institute for the Blind)
Susan (Sue) Reilly, California Transcribers and Educators of the Visually Handicapped
Mary Archer, National Braille Association (NBA), Treasurer
Eileen Curran, National Braille Press (NBP), Vice Chair
Jennifer Dunnam, National Federation of the Blind (NFB), Secretary
Judith (Judy) Dixon, National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped
5 Meeting Arrangements yas asaccauvcinetsa ct acct i datee Diane Wormsley
Diane Wormsley discussed meeting logistics. Judy Dixon gave an overview of the
meeting and what the activities would be like, for the benefit of new members.
6 Board's Liability Statements t.i.casceaeissierieezsemdesieuarrenauaaeeuiaraens Jennifer Dunnam
Jennifer Dunnam read the following statement: BANA indemnifies its Officers and Board of
Directors and holds them harmless from all claims of every kind, including court expenses,
attorneys' fees, and the claimed amount arising from the performance of their duties as Officers
and Directors except for their own acts of dishonesty and gross negligence. (Adopted March 30,
7 Agenda APPrOVa po Meare n n a aiene Ta aaa a e A Aan Judy Dixon
MSC Darleen Bogart moved that the agenda be approved. Passed unanimously.
8 Braille Formats Technical Committee............cccccecccceceeeseeeeeeeeteeeeeens Lynnette Taylor
Kim Charlson read the committee report, which is on file.
Discussion occurred regarding the request for a face-to-face meeting; Darleen will check
with the Literary Committee and Kim will check with Formats Committee to see if they
can meet before, instead of after, the CTEVH meeting. The BANA meeting will occur
after CTEVH, and a joint meeting of these technical committees at that time would create
a conflict for Darleen.
Everyone on the board wishes to receive a CD containing the most up-to-date finished
rules on the new formats rules. It is important for the BANA board to be able to review
items as they are done rather than approving at the end of the work when there is lets
MSC Kim Charlson moved to transfer charge 98 to the hobbies and crafts
committee. Passed unanimously. (See Appendix A, Page 14, for text of charge).
MSC Kim Charlson moved to charge the formats committee to prepare guidelines
for the production and formatting of menus. Passed unanimously.
MSC FM D'Andrea moved that charge 129 be discarded from the braille formats
committee. Passed unanimously.
MSC Kim Charlson moved that charge 164 be declared done. Passed unanimously.
MSC Kim Charlson moved that charge 139 from the formats committee be declared
done. Passed unanimously.
MSC Jennifer Dunnam moved that charge 141 be declared done for the formats
committee. Passed unanimously.
(This was done because the charge referred to specific rules that were distributed in
Computer Braille Technical Commnittee.,..a.sasscacscasssaascasacanatasavascrsecanss Lissa Hirshson
Eileen Curran read the report of the committee, which is on file.
In the draft proposed new section 3.3, the braille error in the e-mail address
email@example.com should be fixed.
The committee is asked to look at consistency in the dot locators in the symbols list. The
board asks consideration by the committee of putting all of the "Indicators" at the top of
the list. A concern was raised that special symbols should be in the same order across
MSC Diane Wormsley moved to transfer charge 117 and 128 to the braille formats
committee. Passed unanimously. (See Appendix A, Page 14, for text of charges).
MSC Jennifer Dunnam moved to discard charges 118 and 142 and replace them
with a new charge. Passed unanimously.
Discussion occurred on dealing with when to go in and out of computer code for
displayed screen shots, and what material should be replicated and what should be
The following charge replaces 118 and 142.
MSC Mary Archer moved to charge the Formats committee to work with the CBC
committee to create guidelines for the transcription of screen shots, web pages, and
other displays captured from electronic media. Passed unanimously.
MSC Diane Wormsley moved to Charge the CBC committee to address when
beginning and ending CBC indicators may or may not be necessary, for example in
e-mail addresses and URL's. Passed unanimously.
GC The committee is requested to recommend language for a new consolidated
charge to replace the charges 96, 119, 131, and 151 which they asked to be
Ad Hoc Foreign Language Committee ..........cccccccccscccceeeeneeeeeeeeneeeeeeeeneeeeeeaes Ann Kelt
Eileen Curran read the report, which is on file.
The board requests a definitive timeline for anticipated completion of the foreign
language guidelines and expresses its willingness to help any way possible.
Ad Hoc Committee on Early Literacy Materials Production................. Betsy Burnham
Diane Wormsley read the report, which is on file.
Charge 121 needs re-wording (clerical modification) to say "work with the research
committee." (See Appendix A, Page 14, for text of charges).
MSC Diane Wormsley moved that charge 121 be declared done. Passed
MSC Jennifer Dunnam moved that charge 132 be declared done. Passed
With respect to charge 145, the interpoint issue is not included in the document we see on
the Web site, and therefore the charge cannot be declared “done.”
MSC Jennifer Dunnam moved to declare 143 and 145 ongoing. Passed unanimously.
A formal review of the promising practices document by the committee is suggested.
Mathematics Technical Committee ...........cccccccesceeeeeeenteeeeeeeees Dorothy Worthington
Mary Archer read the report, which is on file.
MSC Mary Archer moved to charge the Mathematics committee to prepare draft
language for a rule based on the following issue raised in the committee report:
When using the trademark, copyright, and registered symbols in mathematics
transcriptions, in order to prevent confusion with superscripts, it is suggested that
they be spaced away from words or numbers associated with them, regardless of the
spacing shown in print, except on the title page which is done in literary code.
Literary Technical Committee:1..cntannsciiattasnacise amines Martha Pamperin
Darleen Bogart read the report, which is on file.
MSC Darleen Bogart moved the appointment of Sharon Clark for a term to end in
2008. Passed unanimously.
Music Technical Committee .......ceic cece cc ceseeeccccneesccccnsesccceeueesccceueesces Lawrence Smith
Jennifer Dunnam read the report, which is on file.
MSC FM D'Andrea moved that BANA approve up to $2000 in travel expenses for
Larry Smith to participate in the symposium on Braille music notes held on
November 13-14, 2008, at the German Central Library for the Blind. Passed
A report on this meeting should be prepared by Larry for the BANA board by the end of
Refreshable Braille Technical Committee ...........ccecccccececeeeeteeeeeeeeeees Caryn Navy
Judy Dixon read the report, which is on file.
MSC Kim Charlson moved to appoint Virginia Parker from Canada and Catherine
Thomas from the U.S. to serve one year terms as consultants to the Refreshable
Braille Committee. E-mail vote to end Thursday, January 24 at 6 P.M. Eastern time.
Motion passed unanimously.
Crafts and hobbies Technical Committee 0.0.0... cececcceeeenteeeeeeeteeeees Marcy Ponzio
May Davis read the report, which is on file.
GC A press release/announcement will be created and distributed via BANA-
announce regarding recruiting members for the committee.
Strategic Planning... Diane Wormsley and Mary Nelle McLennan
g g y y
Diane Wormsley gave an overview of the strategic planning process to be used, and Mary
Nelle McLennan led us through the process.
Three questions were asked:
1. What is under control (what is BANA doing that is working)?
2. What is not under control (what is BANA doing that is not working)?
3. What is BANA not doing that needs to be done?
Those questions led to the main question "What does BANA need in order to be
effective?" A list of answers to these questions was developed by the board, put on a
board, and categorized under headings and in terms of whether each category was
operational or strategic. The list is on file.
Work on the strategic planning will continue in the coming months.
The meeting recessed at 5:00 PM and reconvened after dinner.
Around the Table... cece teii All BANA REPRESENTATIVES
The BANA representatives shared news of the braille-related activities of their respective
International Braille Organizations
No report given.
32.3 World Braille Council: Darlene Bogart
No report given.
32.4 WBU North America/Region: Kim Charlson
No report given.
32.1 ICEB Meeting
MSC Jennifer Dunnam moved to appoint Diane Wormsley as BANA's fourth
delegate to the ICEB meeting in April. E-mail vote to end Thursday, December 13
at 8:00 A.M. Eastern Time. Voting yes: Mary Archer, Pam Boss, Kim Charlson,
Eileen Curran, May Davis, Jennifer Dunnam, Bonnie Grimm, Mary Nelle
McLennan, Donna Passey, Sue Reilly. Abstaining: Darleen Bogart. Not Voting:
The four delegates from BANA to the International Council on English Braille
assembly—Eileen Curran, Diane Wormsley, Judy Dixon, and Kim Charlson—discussed
the meeting. The following ICEB officers were elected: Mary Schnackenberg, President;
Darleen Bogart, vice President; Judy Dixon, secretary; and Bill Jolley, treasurer. At this
assembly ICEB passed 15 resolutions, which can be found on the ICEB Web site,
http://www.iceb.org. There is talk of a refreshable braille conference sometime in 2009.
There will be a conference in France co-sponsored by AVH and a bicentenary committee.
Judy and Kim have been invited to present at the bicentenary conference from January 4-
8 in Paris.
UEB- Gal isi icdascias seran E A ERER Darleen Bogart
The contractions committee is finished, the formats is still being worked on, and they are
also working on foreign language, it will then go into a mode of keeping it up to date etc.
A code book is being written by the Australians, which should be finished in a year; the
rules chairs are collaborating on it with them.
32.2 IPA AND UEB Linguistics Update: Darleen Bogart
Robert Englebretson along with the linguistics committee wrote the IPA for braille.
CNIB will contribute the braille copies of IPA braille. The print and braille will be
downloadable; in braille it can be downloaded by those who have a means of printing the
The meeting recessed at 8:30 PM and came to order again at 9:00 AM on May 14, at the
Governor Moorhead School for the Blind.
Observers, Deborah Barnes, Miriam Dixon, Mitch Wood.
Literary Technical Committee: iis. Nac entiies Seva aa vet Martha Pamperin
Discussion returned to the literary committee report. If the committee chooses emphasis
symbols that are different from other codes, they will need to provide a good rationale for
it. There are no absolutes. The preference would be not to go so far astray, but the board
is not against looking at anything new for emphasis indicators.
Tactile Graphics Technical Committee sic caccseeonncscte een acita weenie Lucia Hasty
MSC Mary Archer moved that permission be granted to use the Proposed
Guidelines for Tactile Graphics for workshops to be presented at CTEVH, NBA,
and CNIB for 2008 as long as they are clearly marked Draft. The motion was
amended to say that if draft guidelines are distributed, they should be retrieved at
the end of the workshops. E-mail vote to end Thursday, February 27 at noon
Eastern Time. Passed unanimously.
A future role for technical committee liaisons is for them to provide clarity to the board
on whether charges are ready to be declared "done" or not.
MSC Jennifer Dunnam moved to declare charge 93 done. Passed unanimously. (See
Appendix A, Page 14, for text of charges).
We will not make the appointments until the fall for this committee; we do not have
actual resignations from the current outgoing members.
Braille Institute of America is donating the production of the copies of the tactile graphics
for the review copies for the guidelines. BANA will reimburse CNIB for the Canadian
vinyl material. NLS will send thermoform paper to BIA. Mary Nelle, FM, and Eileen
will work together to craft language requesting technical committee reviewers for the
document; each committee will be strongly encouraged to have at least one person
reviewing it, and for some committees the liaisons will encourage all members to review
it. The audience of the book is transcribers and teachers who produce tactile graphics.
Reviews have typically been done by each committee chair taking the comments from the
reviewers and preparing a report, which is sent to BANA-Tech. There will be a review
form. The reviewers will be given printouts of the text.
MSC Jennifer Dunnam moved that permission be granted to use the Proposed
Guidelines for Tactile Graphics for a workshop to be presented at AER for 2008 as
long as they are clearly marked Draft. If draft guidelines are distributed, they
should be retrieved at the end of each workshop. This workshop should be
conducted without CEU credit for any attending afterward. Passed unanimously.
Ad Hoc Committee on Standardized Tests..........cceccccccceceeseeeeeeseneeeeeeeeeees Judy Dixon
Judy Dixon will contact people that we identified at the last meeting to serve on the
committee, so that we can get the committee moving.
By-Laws Committee assay e cia a tdeny Neveu itis hve avd es eins Eileen Curran
Eileen has resigned as chair of the Bylaws committee.
MSC Frances Mary D'Andrea moved to appoint Darleen Bogart as chair of the
bylaws committee. Passed unanimously.
Jennifer Dunnam will take the lead in fixing up the policies.
Education and Outreach Committee............cceeccceeeeceeeeeeteeees Frances Mary D'Andrea
FM D'Andrea read the report, which is on file.
MSC Kim Charlson moved that charge 158 be declared "done" for the education
and outreach committee. Passed unanimously. (See Appendix A, Page 14, for text of
The board affirmed the direction the committee is taking regarding the BANA award.
MSC Mary Archer moved to charge the Education and Outreach committee to
develop a position paper with guidelines for brailling business cards. Passed
Discussion occurred about also including such guidelines in Formats, or some way to
have it be a more formalized process. We should at least let the technical committees
know and provide opportunity for their input. We will post it to BANA-tech first.
Discussion occurred about a web form for organizations to put information about their
Louis Braille bicentenary activities of organizations. Kim and FM will develop the text
for the form, and a release once it is ready.
MSC FM D'Andrea moved to create an area on the BANA web site for the posting
of information about Louis Braille celebrations. Passed unanimously.
Publications Committees; activin ceuosauniaulnwnicuainwarne aes Judy Dixon
Following Warren Figueiredo's resignation, Mary Nelle has agreed to be chair of the
committee. She is a board member, and therefore to have her be chair would require a
suspension of the rules requiring that ad hoc committees not have members of the board
MSC Mary Archer moved to suspend the rules and to appoint Mary Nelle
McLennan as chair of the Publications Committee. Passed unanimously.
Braille Research Committee access scisny sev ciad oeatdses Wasi co vitaen Chace aed Diane Wormsley
20 survey results for the crafts and hobbies committee were returned, but they yielded
nothing definitive, and wider distribution of the survey is recommended.
Diane Wormsley gave an overview of Cheryl Kamei Hannan's research. The board will
receive a report.
There will be additional expenses sent to the board for reimbursement.
Ad Hoc Committee on Uncontracted Braille Transcription Guidelines... Kim Charlson
Sue Reilly is named as the chair of the committee.
Darleen Bogart moved to develop a code for uncontracted braille. The motion was
withdrawn for lack of a second.
The committee will continue with its current charge #168. (See Appendix A, Page 14, for
text of charge).
MSC Mary Archer moved that Kim Charlson and Miriam Dixon be appointed to
the committee on uncontracted braille. Passed unanimously.
May will work with the crafts and hobbies committee to draft an announcement to
distribute information about their survey. Any messages which are to go out to BANA-
Announce need to be sent to Kim.
Each month Kim will post a reminder to BANA-I1 for those who wish to send items to
BANA-announce. Posts to BANA-announce should be only items that are BANA-
related, and they should be redistributable to other venues.
Ad Hoc Committee on Braille Signage and Labeling... Kim Charlson
No report from the committee.
The European Union has package labeling requirements and Canada is close to having
them. A trade organization is working on developing such guidelines in the U.S.
MSC Eileen Curran moved to charge the signage committee to explore strategies to
assist sign-making companies to produce accurate braille. Passed unanimously.
MSC Kim Charlson moved to appoint Miriam Dixon to the signage committee.
Discussion occurred about whether signs should be in uncontracted braille. A new
ADAG will soon be released with guidance for signage.
MSC Kim Charlson moved that BANA recommend to the access board that
uncontracted braille be an option in the production of signage, and further
recommend that capital indicators be deemed unnecessary. Passed with everyone
voting in the affirmative except Darleen Bogart and Ann Wadsworth abstaining.
26.1 Minutes--Fall 2007 Jennifer Dunnam
MSC Jennifer Dunnam moved that the minutes of the fall 2007 meeting be
approved as distributed. E-mail vote to end Wednesday, January 2, 2008 at 7:00
A.M. Eastern Time. Voting yes: Mary Archer, Darleen Bogart, Kim Charlson,
Eileen Curran, FM D'Andrea, May Davis, Jennifer Dunnam, Bonnie Grimm,
Donna Passey, Sue Reilly, Diane Wormsley. Not Voting: Pam Boss, Mary Nelle
26.2 Certificates of Appreciation: Judy Dixon
Kim Charlson will be taking over getting the certificates of appreciation and the letters
out. The recognition for Edie Mourre has yet to happen--Kim will send a certificate to
Several others who served for BANA will receive certificates of appreciation.
26.3 Directory Update: Judy Dixon
Judy Dixon has taken over management of the directory due to the resignation of Warren
Figueiredo. She will do four directories per year.
26.4 BANA Exhibit: Eileen Curran
Major discussion occurred on banners and trunks.
The cost to purchase a banner should be around $500.
The banner will include just the logo and the web site. Sue and FM will take care of
getting the banner.
Eileen will cause the trunk to be bought.
MSC Kim Charlson moved to charge the outreach committee to be responsible for
the management of the BANA exhibit process. Passed unanimously.
26.5 BANA's Listservs: Kim Charlson
Any changes should be sent to Kim.
Barbria Bacon, director of the Governor Moorhead School for the Blind welcomed us.
Treasurers Report ain enntin a E namin aw E E E ae Mary Archer
27.1 2007 year-end financial statement
Mary read the report that is on file. Year was ended in the positive in 3,780.27.
27.2 financial statement for 2008 year-to-date
The report is on file. We have spent $80 in the first quarter. Dues are all up to date now
from 2007. Balance in checking account is $3,212.81. Savings $25,557.93. Total cash
$28,770.74. A 5-month CD was bought for $5,000.
MSC Darleen Bogart moved to accept the treasurer's report. Passed unanimously.
The meeting recessed to begin the open forum (See Appendix B, page 16), for notes on
The meeting came to order on May 15 at 9:00 AM.
BANACTATODIVES enea RR Frances Mary D'Andrea
Judy made the requested changes in the memo from last fall and sent it to Micheal
Hudson last November, and further progress is pending. The memo must be signed by
both parties. FM will be in Louisville in June.
JaA AE EE S E E A EE EOE S EES RRE Eileen Curran
Discussion occurred on what to include in the press release for this meeting.
BOOKSNaTE O10 yoke srs adhere cor esd a a SOR. Judy Dixon
Jim Fruchterman, CEO of Benetech, and Susan Christensen, consultant for Benetech's
Bookshare project, joined the meeting and discussed issues of braille production at
Bookshare. A report on the discussion is attached. BANA expressed concerns regarding
the lack of adherence to BANA codes in the production of braille versions of Bookshare's
books, particularly with regard to children's textbooks.
32.2 IPA AND UEB Linguistics Update: Darleen Bogart
Discussion returned to the IPA code. Kim raised the question as to whether we should do
something about the IPA formally. Quite a few linguists have seen it and used it, drafts
have been reviewed, etc. The official code will be on the ICEB web site and will be
downloadable at no charge. The "glyphs" on the download are for swell paper. ICEB has
approved this code.
MSC Kim Charlson moved that BANA initiate the process for technical committees
to review the IPA for consideration of adoption at our November 2008 meeting.
Darleen will expedite getting the IPA on the ICEB web site.
Fall 2008 Meeting: sireenin eta a e ests tes anette a aena iaaa Eileen Curran
The next meeting will be November 7 thru 9th with the 9th, a Sunday, a half day. NBP is
considering at the Midtown hotel. The open forum will be on Saturday afternoon.
The open forum will not be held in the NBP conference room. Board members should
plan travel so that committee meetings can occur Thursday evening.
Strategic planning will be 5:00 to 8:00 on Thursday.
MSC Mary Archer moved to accept the proposal from APH to cell the code books
with the update included, at a cost increase of ten dollars per code book, as well as
selling the complete update separately at a cost of ten dollars. Passed Unanimously.
Diane Wormsley was commended for the excellent meeting arrangements.
Future BANA MEETINGS
Adjournment: Judy Dixon
The meeting was adjourned at noon.
Jennifer Dunnam, Secretary
COMMITTEE CHARGES REFERENCED
BY NUMBER IN THE SPRING 2008 MINUTES
See the references in the minutes for the current disposition of each of these charges.
#93 (11/14/2003) that the Tactile Graphics Technical Committee be charged to develop
guidelines for the use of Tactile Graphics Supplements
#96 (3/26/2004) to draft a revision to CBC to recommend when a Computer Braille
Code Symbol should appear on the Special Symbols page
#98 (11/5/2004) that the Formats Committee work with the Outreach Committee to prepare a
survey on format issues for menus, knitting and crocheting patterns in order to publish it in
news letters for comment by braille readers.
#117 (4/17/2005) to clarify How to Handle Spread Sheets with Column Headings
#118 (4/17/2005) to devise a method on how and when to transcribe screen shots
#119 (4/17/2005) to review their Recommendation and suggest an existing order of
CBC symbols to be used (i.e., a template), and a generic Transcriber Note regarding
the use of lower numbers — to be done by September 30th
#121 (4/17/2005) To collaborate with the Ad Hoc Committee on Early Literacy Materials
Production to develop field test materials
#128 (11/3/2005) [in conjunction with the Braille Formats Committee] that the final draft
of the spreadsheets rule be prepared for the technical committee review process,
including the exact reference of where it will be inserted, and in context, using
specific language and numbering.
#129 (11/3/2005) [in conjunction with the Computer Technical Committee] that the final draft
of the spreadsheets rule be prepared for the technical committee review process, including
the exact reference of where it will be inserted, and in context, using specific language and
#131 (11/3/2005) [in conjunction with the Braille Formats Committee] the wording for
Special Symbols be finalized and circulated for technical committee review as
outlined in BANA Policies
#132 (11/3/2005) to work with BANA’s Braille Research Committee to help formulate
research questions related to emphasis, and to help the Research Committee with
preparation of examples.
#139 (3/12/2006) that rule 1 section 13E be prepared for distribution to the technical committees,
with language clarifying that a letter standing for a word always should be capitalized
#141 (3/12/2006) that the rule changes be prepared for technical committee review,
reviewing charge 5 and clarifying language
#142 (3/12/2006) that a description of what screen shots are and how they are to be
handled be prepared by the CBC Committee for review by technical committees,
including language to be placed in the CBC referring readers to Braille Formats.
#143 (3/12/2006) [BANA board] recommends stating the options regarding single-sided
or interpoint braille in early literary materials but not expressing a preference.
#145 (10/22/2006) to work with the mathematics committee on formulating guidelines
for the formatting of transcriptions of k-3 math materials.
#151 (4/13/2007) The board expresses to the committee that we would like to see the
language of the final ruling on the Special Symbols page charge (Charge 96: to draft
a revision to CBC to recommend when a Computer Braille Code Symbol should
appear on the Special Symbols page) completed by the fall 2007 meeting.
#158 (4/13/07) Define a consistent and rational purpose and approach for the open fora,
including a method of evaluation.
#164 (10/15/07) To select a group of reviewers to make a preliminary evaluation of the Formats
#169 (11/15/08) To review existing guidelines on the preparation of uncontracted braille (in
situations where uncontracted braille is to be produced) and to prepare draft guidelines for
review by the spring of 2008.
NOTES FROM Open forum
FRANCES Mary D'Andrea welcomed the participants. A handout was distributed with three
topics for discussion.
FM introduced Judy Dixon, BANA chair, who also welcomed everyone and expressed
appreciation. She explained the membership of BANA.
FM then introduced Barbria Bacon, director of the Governor Moorhead School, who expressed
her appreciation for BANA's holding an open forum at the school.
FM indicated that this is the eighth open forum associated with our semiannual meetings.
Then all participants introduced themselves. A good mix of braille readers, braille transcribers,
and teachers was in attendance—eleven participants. Then FM explained the structure of BANA
and its committees. She let the group know that the comments would be noted, included in the
BANA minutes, and conveyed to the formats committee.
Topic 1: Kim Charlson walked the group through the topic of suggested guidelines for the
formatting of menus. Two menu examples were presented, two versions of exactly the same
menu. The main difference was that in the first, the price was presented on the first line of each
item, at the right margin, with guide dots between it and the item name. In the second, the item
price was presented following the description just after the last word of the description.
the first question was whether the "information symbol" and associated content should be at the
top or at the end. The reaction was mixed, some like it at the top and some at the end.
The information symbol was presented as a way to let the reader know that something important
was there; there is no equivalent in print.
One person thought the same information could be conveyed by indenting and the symbol is not
The consensus of the group was that the leader dots before the price were preferred. The prices
in the second example without the leader dots were more difficult to find when skimming.
Comment: One person suggested that the size of menus should be 8-1/2 by 11 rather than 11
inch, to make it easier to deal with in a food environment.
The question came up as to whether people would like the price immediately after the name of
the sandwich without the leader dots. People seemed to think that it would be better than in the
second example, but they preferred the leader dots.
People commented that with the leader dots the prices are in a row so that you can find the least
Comment that it is important to be able to read a menu quickly.
The group felt overwhelmingly that the table of contents would be good in a menu; one person
People said that if the menu was particularly big then the table of contents was especially
The group also felt that a title page in print was important.
Discussion occurred about transcribers moving the text around on the page, and is this
information symbol a good way to indicate when items are modified from the print.
Some people thought maybe a blank line above and below with an asterisk before it might be a
better way to handle this.
Another comment that no symbol is needed if there is indentation.
It was noted that transcribers are trained to braille only what is in print; inserting parentheses
would not follow this principle.
A suggestion was made that a special symbols page be put on a menu if the information symbol
Topic 2: Darleen Bogart introduced Topic 2, concerning emphasis.
Darleen Bogart discussed the differences between literary and formats in their handling of the
italics and boldface. We now need to be able to represent underlining and colors.
The first example concerned capitals. One person liked the double caps in front of each word.
Another spoke in support of the triple caps before the first word.
Darleen then explained the italics examples, the first with our usual italics; the second had the
closing symbol after the series of words (British); and the third showed the UEB example with
the (46, 2).
The rationale for using the dots 23 to italicize a letter is that the 23 is like the letter sign.
One person suggests to just use the 456 for the bold instead of just adding the 46 and the 456
One person stumbled over the UEB italics as they looked like less-than and greater-than signs.
Example 4 inserted punctuation such as brackets. It was noted that it is a departure from
A comment that the 456 46 looks like 1k. Some people thought the 45 with the dot 2 afterward
would be better. (This was mixed reaction.
Then on to underlining. Participants were somewhat confused about the use of dots 456. A
teacher commented that she was very glad that the emphasis issue is being addressed.
Then the group looked at an exercise for students, to show why we need the emphasis indicators.
The directions read "Write definitions for the words in italics, and be prepared to discuss the
concepts in italics."
Darleen mentioned the transcriber option symbols for color etc, but these were not shown in
There was then discussion of what the headings in the examples looked like in print; some
bolded and underlined, some not centered etc. Darleen pointed out that we would still not use
emphasis indicators when headings were offset with indention, centering, blank lines, etc.
The group was encouraged to send any further comments on these issues to
FM said she hopes this gives the participants a taste of some of the kinds of deliberations that go
on in technical committees. The English language is always changing and people are always
coming up with creative ways to show things in print; braille must constantly adjust to the
demands of what is being printed.
In general, there were very few comments from participants.
Then participants were asked to talk about how BANA can best meet the needs of transcribers
and readers etc.
A comment was made that adult braille teaching materials do not always keep up with the
changes (for example Weiss and Weiss’s Braille: A Different Approach does not even include
the currently used percent sign.)
Comment: disseminating materials is easier now with electronic instead of just hard copy.
Kim asked if anyone had recently noticed any new symbols that they had not seen before, like
the copyright, trademark, registered, crosshatch, slash. Some people had seen them.
The next question: is poor braille better than no braille? Comment: how poor; if it's extremely
poor, no. Comment that this should be more of a “multiple choice” question.
Comment: give me information.
Comment: if the transcriber has done his/her best, then it's ok; but if sloppy formatting and
symbols, there comes a point .... A little leeway is permissible.
Question: could we have a "shortcut" formats guidelines, or should we remain sticklers for what
is in Braille Formats?
Question: What if there's not a transcriber?
An example was given of braille provided on a cruise; horrendous formatting; accented letters
bad. She did not complain, though, because the braille was better than nothing.
Comment: different standards for oneself than for children.
What if there was a BANA format for the eleven things that must be done to have it formatted
Comment: shortcut fine but the in-depth book should still be available.
A question from a non-transcriber, about how would one know what a new symbol was if it was
there. The special symbols page was explained.
Someone shared that one transcriber had put a stick of gum in the back of a book and indicated
this on the special symbols page, so it could be determined whether the students had read the
special symbols page.
Generally the group was more in favor of the in-depth rules for formatting rather than shortcuts.
Question: how much should braille reflect what is in print?
Comment: Try to follow print as much as possible.
Question: there are specific things in the Chicago style as to how to do bold and italic, is that
There should be some way of showing the differences in emphasis. Sometimes it's just to look
pretty in print.
The group overwhelmingly understood the importance of standards in braille for state testing.
Concern was expressed over whether students were being taught to read things as transcribed in
the state tests (according to BANA codes).
The group was encouraged to e-mail any follow-up comments.
Suggestion about music braille, that symbols should follow the notes instead of preceding them.