The official policies of the National Federation of the Blind of Pennsylvania are established every year with annual resolutions adopted at the state convention.
The resolutions committee meets early during the convention. Each proposed resolution is read, spoken for by the authoring member, considered, and then ultimately withdrawn or recommended for passage or disapproval by the Convention.
Resolution 2001-01: Regarding Unified English Braille
WHEREAS the Braille Authority of North America (BANA) is considering the Unified English Braille Code (UEBC) to replace grade 2 literary Braille along with the Nemeth Braille Code for Mathematics and Science Notation; and
WHEREAS the current Braille codes have been serving blind and visually impaired Braille users throughout most of the twentieth century; and
WHEREAS the Nemeth Braille Code has been assisting blind persons in technical fields for more than 50 years; and
WHEREAS replacing the current codes would be detrimental to blind students and professionals alike who currently use the Nemeth code and literary codes in their coursework, or in their professions; and
WHEREAS the current vast holdings of Brailled textbooks and other materials would be rendered all but obsolete over a period of time after the new code has been adopted; and
WHEREAS this would render the hundreds of thousands of dollars that has been spent to Braille these materials wasted; and
WHEREAS no funds have been allocated for the development of workshops
and courses to instruct vision teachers in how to provide services to blind students to be trained in the new Unified English Braille Code; and
WHEREAS the retraining of blind students and professionals in the workplace to learn the new code has not been considered as a result of the radical changes to the math and scientific notations that have been proposed in the new UEBC; and
WHEREAS this would cause blind students and professionals to, over the time of retraining, become not as productive as they otherwise would have been in their place of employment.
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED by the National Federation of the Blind of Pennsylvania in convention assembled this 11th day of November, 2001 in the city of Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania that the membership of the NFB of Pennsylvania take steps to become thoroughly familiar with the issues involved both in the UEBC and the Universal Braille System (UBS, a near clone of the Nemeth Code currently under development), and that these codes be discussed at local chapter meetings and among affiliate members themselves so that an informed decision on the issue can be reached and expressed at the upcoming NFB national convention in Louisville, Kentucky, in July 2002; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that Resolution 96-02 concerning the UEBC be reviewed, on which the Pennsylvania delegation voted “no” and which was defeated by a roll call of the states, in order that the membership of the NFB of Pennsylvania can make a more informed decision in advance of BANA’s vote on the UEBC adoption scheduled for 2003.