The Louis Braille Bulletin Volume 7

The Louis Braille Bulletin

No 7

Compiled and distributed by
The South African Library for
the Blind
on behalf of
Braille SA

Letter from the Editor

Dear Readers

It is a pleasure to keep you informed on technical Braille matters and provide news as we conclude the bicentenary celebrations of the birth of Louis Braille.

Looking back on 2009 we have many highlights to reflect on. The Bicentenary celebrations of the birth of Louis Braille, in Paris, where important decisions were taken about the future of braille. The Braille conference hosted by Arthur Blaxall School, and the SANCB Biennial where an in-depth look into the challenges facing braille received priority and again emphasised the importance of training, implementation and monitoring in terms of service delivery. It is important to keep in mind that the outcome of our work is measured by every blind learner who achieves their potential; which remains impossible without Braille.

A further highlight was the gala dinner hosted by the SANCB to celebrate the 80th birthday of SANCB and the bicentenary of Louis Braille. On this occasion the author of “louis Braille, A touch of Genius” Mr C Michael Mellor presented a talk on the life and work of Louis Braille, and emphasised the significant contribution made by Louis Braille to the lives of blind people.

However, The future of Braille remains in the hands of readers, users, teachers and producers who are custodians of the legacy bequeathed to us by Louis Braille.
At the Braille conference held 5-8 January in Paris Dr Euclid Herrie pointed out that each time hands move gracefully across a Braille page a monument to Louis Braille continues to be built.

As we celebrate the 201st birth of Louis Braille on four January,let us continue to remember the importance of Braille, to blind learners. In light of the above I share with the reader an incident experienced as a learner in primary school.

A youngster perhaps in grade three, I was lounging in the play room of the infamous Malan House contemplating my homework. That day the teacher labelled our school bags with our names in braille. As I pulled my school bag closer a new voice greeted. I said “hello, what’s your name?” her answer: “read it on my bag”.
And that is what I did. All introductions over we did our homework and it was time to play with my new- found friend Janine!

Finally, let us remember the important role of the Educator and their attitude towards Braille and the way it shapes the lives of so many learners!

In the sixth issue of the Louis Braille Bulletin we will inform on the Braille writing competition winners, decisions taken on Braille, and ensure that you remain updated regarding Braille-related software and Braille translation tables.

We trust that you will find the sixth issue of the Louis Braille bulletin informative and interesting.

We wish you and your loved ones a prosperous and peaceful 2010.

For queries and input on the Louis Braille Bulletin please contact:

Pasha Alden (National Braille Consultant)
The South African Library for the Blind
PO Box 115
Tel.: 046 6227 226

Meetings of Braille SA

Stakeholder organisations are advised that the next meeting of Braille SA will take place in May 010.

Braille SA meets twice a year. Organisations are responsible for the travel cost of delegations.

The meeting is an excellent opportunity for all who work in the field of braille to meet and discuss braille related matters and contribute to the future of teaching and production of Braille. We wish to encourage principals at schools and member organisations to send Braille experts to the meeting of Braille SA.

For further details contact:

Ms Susan van Wyk (Secretary of Braille SA)
Braille Services
Tel. 011 8391 793
Mr Christo De Klerk (Chairman Braille SA)
Tel.: 011 3508 132


After much deliberation the adjudication of Braille essays is finally a thing of the past, we are pleased to announce the following winners of the braille essay competition:

In the primary school category, Bhekani Ngcobo (best Braille)
Robyn Waters for content.

In the High School category, Louzanne Coetzee wins the prize for best content and Sydney Berrington from Pioneer School wins the prize for best Braille.

In the open category Hanlie dippenaar wins the prize for content, while Razia Ismael wins the prize for best braille.

In the professional category Mr Phulani Matshaya scoops the prize for content and creativity while Ms Sophia moosa takes honours for best braille.

We congratulate all winners and hope that Braille will continue to be a “brailleant part of their lives”.

Duxbury Braille translation tables

Educators and producers please be advised that DBT 10.7 service pack 1 is now available. Educators and producers should keep in mind that earlier versions of Duxbury Braille translation tables are no longer supported and maintained.

When installing your translation tables be sure that they are copied to your programme files in your Duxbury folder. Note, take care to install the file named weebee. As this file allows the execution of updated braille translation tables.
As some work is needed with regard to importing word documents into Duxbury, some errors occur during braille translation. Please report all translation errors to the National Braille Consultant, so that these can be corrected in future updates of the Duxbury programme and the translation tables.

The braille translation tables are available at no cost from the National Braille Consultancy.

In order to receive most up to date versions of translation tables contact:

Pasha alden (National Braille Consultant)
South African Library for the Blind
PO Box 115
Tel.: 046 6227 226


Q: How can I produce correct quotes in a Word document to translate correctly as the non specific quotes in UBC?
A.: with numlock on, hold down the alt key and press 145. This will produce quotes that are correct in the print document and will translate correctly into the non specific quote in UBC.

Q.: Where can I find Braille systems for different languages?

A.: Braille systems for French, and German can be obtained on the BAUK Website. Go to where a .brf file can be downloaded.
A further code reference is the book titled World Braille Usage, containing different alphabets.

Russian, welsh and greek alphabets can be found in the code book titled: British Braille: A Restatement 2004.