Royal Institute for Deaf and Blind Children (RIDBC) has created the world’s first eLearning braille course, UEB Online. UEB Online is designed to help people who can see support the people in their life that are using braille as a vital part of their communication.
The program is suitable for:
- Classroom and specialist teachers;
- Teacher aides, and;
- Other professionals supporting children and adults with vision loss.
UEB Online is leading the way in using technology to promote braille literacy both in Australia, and internationally. Learning Unified English Braille (UEB) code has never been easier with this accessible online platform – all you need is your computer and an internet connection.
“Braille is fundamental to the development of language and literacy in people who are blind,” said UEB Online project leader and RIDBC Lecturer (Vision Impairment), Dr Frances Gentle. “Since our soft launch to industry, UEB Online has been used by thousands of people around the world.
“Designed for people who can see, UEB Online creates opportunities for families and mainstream educators to access a simple system that will allow them to support children and adults with vision loss who are using braille – no matter where they live.
“This is critical to the development of literacy, with research showing that children who are blind and learning braille have better employment outcomes as adults. Withholding braille from a child with significant vision loss would be like saying to another child that they don’t need to read anything anymore, that they should only learn by listening.”
UEB Online encourages social inclusion and may be used to reach out in the simplest of ways – leaving a note or writing a birthday card in braille can make a world of difference to a person with vision loss.
UEB Online has also been adopted by many nations in the developing world.
“Unified English Braille code has been officially adopted by six countries – Australia, New Zealand, the USA, Canada, South Africa and the UK,” said Dr Gentle. “However 5% of UEB Online’s participants come 83 other countries, many of them in the developing world.
“Many developing nations lack the public resource for braille education – only five out of 16 Pacific Island nations have resources for children to learn braille. UEB Online offers teachers in countries like Vanuatu, the opportunity to learn braille so that children with vision loss can go to school for the first time!”
Users wanting to access UEB Online should visit www.uebonline.org, registration is free.
This program has been created by RIDBC Renwick Centre. We acknowledge the support and permission from the Round Table on Information Access for People with Print Disabilities and Australian Braille Authority for the adaptation of content from the Unified English Braille: Australian Training Manual, 2013 (edited by Howse, J., Riessen, K., & Holloway, L.).