Braille Mathematics Codes
Resolution 2016-04
Whereas, both the National Federation of the Blind and the American Council of the Blind passed resolutions approving the adoption of UEB (Unified English Braille) which clearly indicated that the Nemeth code would still be a part of the braille code in the United States; and
Whereas, many states have indicated that they will continue to use Nemeth code for all instruction in mathematics and science where it had been used before the adoption of UEB; and
Whereas, at least ten states have decided to use UEB for all mathematics instruction; and
Whereas, the adoption of two approaches to the braille codes to be used with mathematics means that many students who move from state to state may find themselves significantly disadvantaged because the code they were using in their former home is not the one being used in the state to which they have relocated;
Now, therefore, be it resolved by the American Council of the Blind in convention assembled on the 6th day of July, 2016, at the Hyatt Regency Hotel, Minneapolis, Minnesota, that this organization express our deep concern over the division of the United States into two codes for mathematical teaching; and
Be it further resolved that this organization strongly urge every state to make clear in their policies and procedures that there will be provisions to protect access to mathematical instruction in the code to which the student is accustomed, even if that code is not the one in use in that state; and
Be it further resolved that, at the very least, every state include provisions in such policies and procedures that allow exceptions to the general practice to be written into the Individualized Education Program (IEP) which is at the heart of what IDEA expects the IEP to be; and
Be it further resolved that this organization strongly urge those entities involved in national testing to provide tests in both Nemeth and UEB to make certain that all students will have the ability to demonstrate their mathematical competence rather than their unfamiliarity with a particular code; and
Be it further resolved that the Braille Authority of North America is hereby strongly encouraged to monitor the effectiveness of both codes over the next five years so that BANA may be able to make a definitive decision about which code appears to offer the most effective approach to teaching and learning mathematics.
Ray Campbell, Secretary