Trans-Tasman Certificate of Proficiency in Unified English Braille

Background and Purpose

Since 2008, BANZAT and The Australian Braille Authority (ABA) have jointly conducted examinations for the Trans-Tasman Certificate of Proficiency in Unified English Braille (UEB). These open-book examinations, offered annually, test a candidate’s working knowledge of the UEB code. They also set a high standard of braille production to which we believe anyone wishing to produce braille should aspire. Those who pass the certificate demonstrate a real attention to detail and accuracy, something to be proud of indeed.

Who Should Apply?

The Trans-Tasman Certificate in UEB is available to people living in Australia and New Zealand. Those living in the South Pacific Islands are also welcome to apply if they do not have their own braille authority. Residents from elsewhere are asked to seek certification advice from the governing body for braille within their own country, as our Trans-Tasman Certificate in UEB will not serve as a recognised qualification elsewhere.

In order to be successful in obtaining the Certificate in UEB, a candidate must have good reading and writing knowledge of the UEB code and experience in the production of a variety of braille materials. Candidates should be well-practised in six-key entry and braille proofreading.

Those who have gained the certificate include:

  • resource teachers vision working for BLENNZ;
  • teacher aides supporting children in schools;
  • parents and other family members supporting braille readers;
  • braille instructors at the Blind Foundation;
  • braille transcribers and proofreaders; and
  • touch readers of braille.

In New Zealand and Australia touch readers of braille who are not necessarily teachers or transcribers have taken the examination to strengthen their knowledge of UEB.

A prerequisite to be accredited by BANZAT as a braille producer working in New Zealand is the holding of the Certificate in UEB.

We encourage candidates to check they’re ready for the examination by using the Sample Papers with Answers listed below.

Examination Period

The examination is held in New Zealand in the first two weeks of October. Candidates are allowed one full week to complete the examination, beginning on their elected date of 1 or 8 October.

Examination Structure and Package Content

The examination consists of three parts.

  • Part A: Transcription of three print passages to braille in three different genres, totalling approximately 1,500 words.
  • Part B: Transcription of a braille passage to print.
  • Part C: Proofreading, i.e. identifying the errors in a passage. A braille passage containing errors is provided, together with an error-free copy of the passage (in either print or uncontracted marked-up braille).

The examination package also includes instructions and marking criteria for each section.  Touch readers completing the examination are provided with uncontracted mark-up braille format of Part A and Part C print materials and also a list of the markup codes which are used.

Choice of Braille Writing Equipment

Candidates may complete braille responses using a manual brailler such as a Perkins or Perky Duck manual braille entry software. Perky Duck is available for free download. It can only be used in conjunction with a keyboard that can register simultaneous entry of six keys.

Use of braille translation software is strictly forbidden and will result in automatic failure.

All braille responses must be submitted in hard copy form. Perky Duck files should also be submitted and will be checked to ensure that braille translation software has not been used in their production.

Self proofreading/checking of your work is both permitted and encouraged, as this is an important component of the transcription process. Check your work carefully for correct braille, formatting and clear braille dots.

Reference Materials

The Proficiency test is an open book examination. Essential references for those wishing to sit the examination in New Zealand are:

Applications and Questions

Applications to sit the examination are called for on the first Monday in August and close on the first Monday in September. The Event Calendar on the BANZAT website has the dates of the next Certificate examination. An invitation is emailed to several lists annually and posted to BANZAT’s website and Facebook page.

In New Zealand the examination is free of charge.

To apply to sit the examination, or ask any questions, please contact BANZAT at chair@banzat.org.nz or phone Maria Stevens (09 355 6594).

Sample Exam Papers with Answers

Candidates are encouraged to use these sample papers to prepare for the examination and check they’re ready to sit it. Here are three practice papers with answers.

Practice 1 Exam Paper with Answers

Part A: Transcription of Three Print Passages to Braille

Part B: Transcription From Braille to Print

Exam

Answer

Part C: Proofreading

Exam braille

Exam print

Answer

Practice 2 Exam Paper with Answers

Part A: Transcription of Three Print Passages to Braille

Exam Passage 1

Answer Passage 1

Exam Passage 2

Answer Passage 2

Exam Passage 3

Answer Passage 3

Part B: Transcription From Braille to Print

Exam

Answer

Part C: Proofreading

Exam braille

Exam print

Answer

Practice 3 Exam Paper with Answers

Part A: Transcription of Three Print Passages to Braille

Exam Passage 1

Answer Passage 1

Exam Passage 2

Answer Passage 2

Exam Passage 3

Answer Passage 3

Part B: Transcription From Braille to Print

Exam

Answer

Part C: Proofreading

Exam braille

Exam print

Answer

Last updated: 8 July 2018