Last week, we posted an overview about the U.S. transition to UEB, unified English Braille. While the Braille Authority of North America has posted a useful guide to the updated symbols and rules, I’ve been using UEB for nearly a year and still find myself looking up how to use the new punctuation marks.

Sharon Monthei, author of the *McDuffy Reader* braille curriculum, suggested to me in an interview a few weeks ago to look for patterns in the UEB symbols. The idea seemed foreign at first, but then I remembered how most of us learned braille: all of our dot-5 contractions, then the dot 4-5, etc. So, I’ve assembled this quick guide sorted by the preceding characters. For now, this guide only lists the new symbols, though you should review BANA’s document for the new formatting markers.

*Screen reader users, please note that we are using a font to display the symbols visually as well. Your synthetic speech engine will read some strange characters after each description!*

### Dot-4 Symbols

- Dollar sign: dot-4, s; @s
- Transcriber’s note (opening): dot-4, dot-4-6, gh-sign; @.<
- Transcriber’s note (closing): dot-4, dot-4-6, ar-sign; @.>
- Tilde (~): dot-4, in-sign; @9
- Less than (<): dot-4, gh-sign; @<
- Greater than (<): dot-4, ar-sign; @>

### Dot-4-5 Symbols

- Degree (°): dot-4-5, j; ^j
- Paragraph (¶): dot-4-5, p; ^p
- Section (§): dot-4-5, s; ^s
- Double-quotation mark (opening): dot-4-5, dot-2-3-6; ^8
- Double-quotation mark (opening): dot-4-5, dot-3-5-6; ^0

### Dot-4-6 Symbols

- Percent (%): dot-4-6, dot-3-5-6; .0
- Underscore (_): dot-4-6, dot-3-6; .-

### Dot-4-5-6 Symbols

- Curly brackets (opening): dot-4-5-6, gh-sign_<
- Curly brackets (closing): dot-4-5-6, ar-sign; _>
- Backslash: dot-4-5-6, ch-sign; _*
- Bullet: dot-4-5-6, dot-2-5-6; _4

### Dot-5 Symbols

- Asterisk (*): dot-5, dot-3-5; “9
- Long dash (——): dot-5, dot-6, dot-3-6; “,-
- Parenthesis (opening): dot-5, gh-sign; “<
- Parenthesis (closing): dot-5, arising; “>

### Dot-5 Symbols

- Equals (=): dot-5, dot-2-3-5-6; ”7
- Plus (+): dot-5, dot-2-3-5; ”6
- Minus (-): dot-5, dot-3-6; “-
- Multiplication (×): dot-5, dot-2-3-6; “8
- Division (÷): dot-5, wt-sign; “/

### Dot-6 Symbols

- Single quotation marks (opening): dot-6, dot-2-3-6; ,8
- Single quotation marks (closing): dot-6, dot-3-5-6; ,0

### And one more…

As the BANA document states:

The period, dot, and decimal will always be shown as dots 256. The ellipsis is shown as three of these in a row. …

*Do you have a technique to remember these symbols? Post below in the comments!*

#### Latest posts by Corbb O'Connor (see all)

- Help Blind People Combat the Tendency to Rock Back and Forth - July 16, 2014
- Routine Class Project Changes First Grader’s Mind - June 12, 2014
- Is Your UEB Training Accessible to Everyone? - June 5, 2014
- Blind Science on the Morning News - May 30, 2014
- Science Isn’t Off Limits to Blind and Visually Impaired Children - May 23, 2014

## Leave a Reply