Meeting of the Braille Authority of North America Canadian National Institute for the Blind; Toronto, Canada November 18, 1977

The meeting was called to order by the Chairman, Mr. Roberts, at 10:11 a.m. Present were:

Mr. Harold G. Roberts, AAWB Mr. Ralph McCracken, APH Mrs. Irvin F. Richman, NBA Mr. Robert Gildea, ACM

Mr. Martin Droege, Clovernook Mr. James Haralsen, AEVH

Mr. Floyd Cargill, ACB Mr. E.G. Brown, CNIB

Miss Marion Wurster, AFB Mr. Richard Evensen, LC/DBPH

Mrs. Darleen Bogart, Mrs. Floyd Cargill and Miss Francoise Hebert (National Director of Library Services for CNIB) were present as guests of the Board.

The meeting began with a welcome.from Mr. Ross Purse of CNIB.

Mr. Roberts distributed copies of the minutes of the June 1976 meeting on Computer braille. Mr. Gildea cautioned that these were proof copies. The Protestant Guild for the Blind has undertaken the production of the final copy.

MSC Mr. Cargill moved the adoption of the minutes of the


June 8th meeting as circulated. The motion carried unanimously. A letter of congratulation offering the support and cooperation of CTEVH was read.


Mr. Brown suggested that the term "Board" be substituted for "National Board" throughout this report and in our Bylaws.

Mr. Gildea expressed the thanks of the Board to the Committee for their


Mr. Roberts commented that the report contained no provision for the preparation and adoption of a budget by BANA. He then discussed the establishment of technical committees. He noted that BANA is the successor to the Braille Authority of the United States. The grant from the Office of Education was made to Florida State University because the Braille Authority was not incorporated and therefore could not receive grant monies from the government. The grant includes a provision that code changes and new codes must be approved by the Braille Authority. Our Memorandum of Understanding with Florida State University transfers this provision to the current Authority, BANA. Therefore, the FSU Technical Committees are in a very real sense "creatures" of the Braille Authority (and now of BANA).

After some discussion of questions raised by various members of the Board, it was agreed to consider the Ad Hoc Committee's Report and then decide the specific way in which we would interact with the Technical Committees established under the FSU project during the life of the grant.

GC Mrs. Richman suggested that the Board sit as a Committee of the Whole for the

section-by-section consideration of the report and then adopt the final revision in one motion. The Board's consideration of the Ad Hoc Committee's Report proceeded through item II before the meeting was recessed for luncheon at CNIB. The remainder of the report was considered following luncheon.

MSC Mr. Evensen moved the adjournment of the Committee of the Whole. The motion carried.

MSC Mr. Haralsen moved the adoption of the report of the Committee of the Whole. The report is attached to these minutes and shall be considered a part of these minutes. The motion carried,


This matter was first brought to our attention in a letter from Mr. Eldridge which was forwarded to Mr. Roberts by Mr. Car-gill on March 9, 1977.

The Revised International Manual for Braille Music Notation, 1956 specifies that in choral music, the music is placed first and the words are given beneath and indented. The 1975 Addendum to the Code reverses the order, placing the words first. Mr. Eldridge requested that BANA consider a return to the format specified in the 1956 Code.

Mr. Roberts forwarded Mr. Eldridge's letter to the FSU Music Braille Committee which reviewed the situation and recommended unanimously that no change be made. Mrs. Bettye Krolick, a member of the FSU Music Braille Committee and NBA's Music Braille Chairman, conducted a small survey among users of braille choral music. The results were divided exactly evenly.

MSC Mr. Cargill moved that we request a detailed report of the investigation

conducted by the FSU Music Braille Committee on this question. The motion carried. It was noted that the Addendum had only been adopted in 1975, and therefore,

there has been insufficient time to test the new order in the field.

MSC Mr. Cargill moved that BANA take no further action on this question at this

time. The motion carried. Mr. Roberts was directed to write Mr. Eldridge informing him that consideration had

been given to his request and of the actions that had been taken. Mr. Brown commented that, in response to the request from the FSU

project for Canadian representation on the Technical Committees, Ms. Ann

Burrows has been recommended to the Music Braille Committee.


Mr. Roberts read a letter from Miss Marjorie Hooper dated November 11, 1977. Miss Hooper asked whether BANA would approve of FSU submitting a grant proposal for a study of the feasibility of modifying literary braille to make it programmable on a minicomputer. Mr. Roberts was directed to ask for a copy of the proposal and further information and circulate her response to the Board. Each board member was asked to study the information and send his comments to Mr. Gildea, who would organize and collate the responses for presentation to the Board at our next meeting.

NEW BUSINESS Mr. Evensen reported that LC/DBPH has been having discussion with Dr. Marvin

Berkowitz of AFB concerning an international conference on braille. American sponsorship might be by LC/DBPH and AFB, but no definite plans have been formulated

as yet. The Conference would probably be held outside of the United States, possibly in Czechoslovakia at the end of the Library Conference in August, 1978.

Each Board member was asked to consult with his organization and report back concerning their feeling about the need for such a conference at this time.

Mr. Roberts commented that the World Council for the Welfare of the Blind would be interested in participating in such a conference and suggested as an alternative time and place Nigeria in the fall of 1979, either before or after the meeting of WCWB there.

Mr. Roberts had received two letters from Mrs. William K. Tate, Jr., a member of the Textbook Format Advisory Committee of the Braille Authority of the United States, which produced the 1976 Code of Braille Textbook Formats and Techniques. It was agreed to postpone presentation of Mrs. Tate's second letter since our time was short and the matter was not urgent.

The first letter advised BANA that a second braille edition of the Code which would contain the "graphics" had been planned by the Textbook Format Advisory Committee. Mrs. Tate now asked that BANA undertake the production of this special

braille edition.

Miss Wurster moved that BANA authorize the production of a second, special braille edition of the 1976 Code of Braille Textbook Formats and Techniques as outlined in Mrs. Tate's letter to BANA dated October 24, 1977.

The motion carried. MSC Mr. Haralsen moved that the American Printing House for the Blind

produce the special braille edition of the Code. Carried. Mr. Droege invited BANA to hold its next meeting in Cincinnati

at Clovernook. The tentative date is late in April, 1978. MSC Miss Wurster moved the adjournment of the meeting. Carried.

The meeting adjourned at 4:15 p.m. Respectfully submitted,

Mrs. Irvin F. Richman, Secretary



The Chairman of BANA A.

Answers all correspondence and inquiries concerning BANA which are

of a general nature.

Receives all requests for rulings concerning interpretations of existing codes,

suggestions for alterations in the codes and requests for the development of

new codes.

1. Refers simple problems of interpretation of a code or of a technical nature to the appropriate committee for consideration and sends information copies to the chairmen of the other technical committees. Informs the originator of the request of the action taken.

A distinction is made between simple requests for clarification of the meaning of a portion of a code, which would be sent only to the single technical committee concerned, and objections to portions of a code or suggestions for code changes which would be circulated to all of the technical committee chairmen.

2. Presents requests for the alteration of codes or the development of new codes to the Board which will decide whether BANA wishes to consider them or not. Informs the originator of the action taken.

The Chairman may, under special circumstances, obtain this decision through written or oral referenda. All oral decisions must be confirmed in writing. The objection of two Board members to making a decision by referendum would require the calling of a meeting.

Receives quarterly and special reports from the technical committees.

Distributes these reports to the Board.

Issues calls for meetings and the agenda for the meeting no less than

thirty (30) days prior to the date of the meeting.

Circulates all reports within ten (10) days after receiving them.

The Board of BANA





Establishes the technical committees, appoints their chairmen

and committee members.

May originate matters to be considered by a technical


Receives proposals for the revision of braille codes or the development of new codes and directs the appropriate technical committee to consider them or otherwise disposes of them.

Approves budgets and timetables submitted by the technical committees for the consideration of problems which have been referred to them. Reviews and approves or disapproves changes in the braille codes. Adopts new codes.

Publishes changes in existing codes and new codes and

arranges for their dissemination to the field.

The Technical Committees

The chairman of a technical committee shall be a voting member of that committee.

B. Following his appointment, the chairman of a technical committee shall submit nominees (preferably two or four) for committee membership to the Board for appointment.

Each committee shall submit a statement of proposed work, timetable and

budget to the Board for approval.

The work of the committees shall be conducted by mail whenever possible. When a meeting is necessary, and funds are not available from other sources, BANA will reimburse committee members for transportation and per diem in accordance with BANA's guidelines.

The chairman of a technical committee shall issue the call for a committee

meeting at a time and place convenient for the members of the committee.


1. The ruling by a technical committee on the interpretation of an existing braille code is official. Copies of the ruling must be sent by the chairman of the committee to the originator of the inquiry and the ruling must be included in the committee's quarterly report.

2. Code changes a. Proposed revisions of a braille code must be submitted to the

chairmen of the "other technical committees for their assurance that the revision does not create any unresolvable conflicts with another code or create unnecessary difficulties in computer programming.

If there is a conflict, every effort should be made to resolve it by joint consideration by the committees concerned. In the event of an irreconcilable division of opinion, majority and minority reports shall be submitted to the Board for final decision.

b. Following the review of the proposed changes by the

chairmen of the other technical committees,

the chairman of the technical committee proposing the revision shall prepare a special report submitting the revision to the Board of BANA for review and adoption.

3. The development and adoption of new braille codes would follow the same procedures as those outlined in 2 above for the revision of existing codes.

Each technical committee shall submit quarterly and special reports to the

Board. Quarterly reports shall consist of a detailed record of the committee's

activities and expenditures during the period and shall include all opinions

rendered concerning the interpretation of existing codes. Special reports shall contain proposals for the revision of a code or the creation of a new code.






Meeting of Braille Authority of North America Friday, November 18, 1977 Toronto, Canada

Call to order.

Greetings from Mr. Ross C. Purse, Managing Director, CNIB.

Approval of minutes of June 8th meeting (mailed in advance).

Report of committee re: structure for technical committees.

Standards for choral or vocal ensemble music in braille.

Standards for computer produced braille.

Status of legal incorporation.

Financial report.

New Business.

Proposal of LC and AFB to plan internation conference on brl.

BHT’s Irs.

Next meeting

Adjournment. Sir Arthur Pearson reception.