Unified English Braille

The United States members of the Braille Authority of North America (BANA) voted to adopt Unified English Braille (UEB) to replace English Braille American Edition.  BANA established January 4, 2016, (Louis Braille’s birthday) as the implementation date. As of that date, UEB, Nemeth, Music, and the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA) are the official codes for use in the United States.

Due to the adoption of Unified English Braille (UEB), Washington State formed a committee in 2014 to offer training, support, legislative guidance, and updated competency requirements.  The Committee continues to meet quarterly to ensure that students and educators around Washington are receiving braille access and support.  The Committee is comprised of membership from multiple agencies and organizations in Washington.

You can contact the Washington UEB Committee directly by emailing: UEB@wssb.wa.gov.

A young student named Alijah at the braille challenge typing

UEB Questions

UEB Exam Popular Questions:

  • Is there a practice test or study materials available?
    • There is no practice test available at this time. The UEB is implemented in Washington State for use with literary material in general, so the best study guide is the rulebook: The Rules of Unified English Braille, latest edition. It can be downloaded for free from the Braille Authority of North America’s website. http://www.brailleauthority.org/ueb.html#rules
  • How long is the exam?
    • The exam contains five sections: multiple choice, proofreading, interlining, transcribing and slate and stylus.
  • Is it a timed exam?
    • There are no time requirements but suggested times are provided.
  • What resources are allowed during the exam?
    • Any print or braille materials are allowed, no electronics permitted during testing unless accommodations are required.
  • What do I need to study?
    • Since the UEB is adopted in Washington State for general literary usage only, it is important that applicants are knowledgeable in the UEB through section 10 of the rulebook, with basic knowledge of braille formatting and the ability to look up unfamiliar symbols when they arise.
  • Which sections of the NLS Transcriber’s Manual are applicable to the exam?
    • All of the sections of the NLS Transcriber’s Manual are applicable to the Washington State UEB Competency Exam.
  • How do I apply to take the exam?
    • The application to take the new UEB exam is located on the UEB Links/Downloads tab
  • How much does it cost?
    • The entire exam is $160.00 or each section has a separate fee: Multiple Choice=$20.00, Transcribing=$75.00, Proofreading=$25.00, Interlining=$20.00, Slate & Stylus=$20.00.
  • Can I re-take the exam?
    • Yes, to re-take the exam, the fee is per section or $6.00 x number of sentences to redo on the transcription piece.
  • How many times can I re-take the exam?
    • At this time there is no limit to the number of re-takes.  You have 1 year to successfully complete all components, or the entire exam must be retaken.
  • Do I need a proctor?
    • Yes, a proctor is required.  You have 30 days from the date on the proctor’s letter to take the current exam or it becomes null and void.
  • What are the criteria for proctoring?
    • Anyone already certified in UEB or someone who does not work in braille and will not be taking the exam may proctor. Responsibilities include monitoring the exam to make sure that no electronic devices are used and a quiet space is provided.
  • How do I get lifetime UEB certification?
    • Receiving a Letter of Proficiency in Unified English Braille from national Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped, Library of Congress qualifies for lifetime certification.
  • Do I have to take this exam every 5 years?
    • There is a shorter re-certification exam. Certification lasts 5 years and then needs to be renewed with the shorter exam.
  • Is UEB certification required to work as a braillist in a classroom?
    • Yes, according to Washington State Code WAC 180-82-130, anyone who will be providing braille or braille instruction to a student must be certified in UEB by Washington State.
  • Are TVIs in Washington required to be UEB certified?
    • Yes, according to Washington State Code WAC 180-82-130, anyone who will be providing braille or braille instruction to a student must be certified in UEB by Washington State.
  • How long do I have to earn my UEB certification after I start working in a classroom?
    • One year after the date of hire from start to finish.

Graduates who successfully passed the braille exam from one of the following universities, may provide documentation to the Ogden Resource Center, braille@wssb.wa.gov that they passed the braille exam to receive the Washington State UEB Certification.

Portland State University (PSU)
Stephen F. Austin
University of Arizona (must take proofreading and Slate/Stylus)
Western Michigan University
Florida State University

UEB Links/Downloads

Please download forms to your computer if you have problems with your browser.

UEB Application (PDF) 

UEB Recertification Application (PDF) (Every 5 years ) 

WAC 180-82-130

RCW 28A.155.105

RCW 28A.155.115

UEB and Me examples (docx)
UEB and Me why (docx)
UEB and Me with numbered errors (docx)

UEB and Me BRF files (zip)

WA Braille Competency Report to PESB

Online Braille Courses



UEBOT online training

Braille Resources


Braille Certification – NFB

Braille Resource Materials