Assignment of Persons Providing

Instruction of Braille to Students

Frequently Asked Questions & Answers



Q. What are the Washington State Requirements?

A. After September 1, 1997, a certificated or classified employee, providing Braille instruction or producing Braille material must demonstrate competency with the standard literary Braille code. Read WAC 180-82-130 for details.


Q. How is competency demonstrated?

A. By successful completion of one of the following:

1. Successful completion of the Braille Literary Usage Examination (B.L.U.E.)

2. Certificate for Literary Braille Transcriber from the Library of Congress National Library Service (NLS)


Q. What are the competencies covered on the B.L.U.E.?

A. Mastery of the Literary Braille Code and Rules as defined in English Braille American Edition, 2002 Revision. The exam is broken into four parts: Transcribing, Proofreading, Interlining and Slate & Stylus.


Q. Is there a time limit?

A. Yes. The entire examination is limited to 5 hours. The exam may be taken a section at a time. Each section has a time limit.


Q. May I have reference materials available during the examination?

A. Yes. Rule books, reference sheets, hand-written notes. A computer or any other electronic devices are forbidden. No questions may be asked of others.


Q. What is the process for taking the examination?

A. Download an application form and arrange to have someone in your district to be the test administrator. Fill out the form and submit with payment to the address on the form. Within two weeks an exam will be delivered to the test administrator with directions for administration and return envelope.


Q. What supplies do I need?

A. A Perkins Braille Writer, 28 cell slate & stylus, 11.5x11 Braille paper, 8.5x11 Braille paper, Braille eraser, any references.


Q. How do I get my test results?

A. Allow up to two weeks for results to be mailed to you directly. If you pass the entire exam a Certificate will be mailed to you.


Q. How will my district know I passed?

A. It is your responsibility to supply a copy of the Certificate of Competency to you personnel office. A quarterly report is published by the Board of Education and posted on their website at



Q. When does the certificate expire?

A. Its good for five years from the date of completion, unless you have completed the NLS certificate. The NLS certificate is a lifetime certification.


Q. How can I keep the certification current?

A. As outlined in WAC 180-82-130 by completing the equivalent of ten hours every five years of continuing education or completing one of the tests.


Q. What type of coursework qualifies?

A. Instructional methodology in Braille, improving Braille code skills or maintaining or refreshing Braille code skills NOT including technology or software. Braille codes skills means literary, music, and Nemeth code. The courses must be by an approved provider.


Q. Who are the approved providers?

A. The National Braille Association; The Library of Congress; The Braille Authority of North America; A regionally accredited institution of higher education; An educational service district; The American Foundation for the Blind; The Association of Education and Rehabilitation of the Blind and Visually Impaired (AER) of Washington; The American Foundation for the Blind annual American Braille literacy conference; of any other entity approved by the state board of education.


Q. How is my continuing education requirement documented?

A. It is your responsibility to send copies of the documented classes to the Instructional Resource Center when nearing your expiration date. Once received and checked for compliance and recorded, a new certificate will be issued.


Q. How often does the Instructional Resource Center report to the Board of Education?

A. Quarterly.