Guide

Hitchhiker’s Guide to UEB Mathematics

Emotions run high whenever change occurs. This is especially true within the realm of education. Specifically the world for VI professionals.

Emotions run high whenever change occurs. This is especially true within the realm of education. Specifically the world for VI professionals has been rocked with the national change to Unified English Braille. But here in North Carolina we are also transitioning students away from Nemeth and implementing math-based UEB.

Unfortunately, during times of change it’s natural to allow our emotions grip us into paralysis, but luckily we have empirical-based research that can calm our nerves and lessen the anxiety we feel for teaching something new.

Did you know….

• Math… is easier at an earlier age with UEB (Gerber & Smith, 2006).
• Math using UEB is simple, accurate and can be forward/backward translated (Holbrook & MacCuspie, 2010).
•  “UEB supports the use of higher-level mathematics, science, and computer science (Holbrook & MacCuspie, 2010).
• A blind scientist stated that UEB was easier to read than Nemeth Code because of its “roomy feel” (Gerry, 2004)
•  “Because it’s a unified code, the symbols aren’t reused” (Gentle, Steer, & Howse, 2012)
• In the country Australia, 3rd and 5th grade students chose to take their standardized exams (including mathematic) after only 4 months of UEB instruction (D’Andrea, Wormsley, & Savaiano, 2014).

Moving forward, an excellent resource I’m using in the classroom setting already is the Hitchhiker’s Guide to UEB Mathematics. It’s FREE!  In the spirit of working smarter, not harder, try embracing the Keeping It So Simple! KISS principles next time you help a braille student solve a math equation. These 10 very simple rules can be found in the Hitchhiker’s Guide.

1. + – x ÷ = all take dot 5
2. money symbols take dot 4 and are followed by number sign
3. operation signs are unspaced both sides
4. comparison signs are spaced before and after
5. greater than and less than signs take dot 4
6. simple fraction line – (dots 3, 4)
7. mixed numerals – repeat number sign
8. superscript – change level up (dots 3, 5)
9. subscript – change level down (dots 2, 6)
10. square root has to open (dots 1, 4, 6) and close (dots 3, 4, 6)

By Amy Frank Campbell