Implementation of the new braille language will begin next year.

Professor Selected to Help Implement Braille Changes

Special education teacher Rona Pogrund leads Texas Tech’s visual impairment program for teachers.

Professor Rona Pogrund is representing Texas Tech University in a stakeholders meeting Nov. 4-5 in Austin to discuss how the state will implement new standards for braille, which were adopted two years ago. The Texas Education Agency and Region 11 Education Service Center are sponsoring the meeting.

Pogrund is a professor of special education in the College of Education at Texas Tech, but her office is at the Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired (TSBVI) in Austin. She coordinates the Teacher of Students with Visual Impairments (TVI) program for Texas Tech.

In 2012, the Braille Authority of North America (BANA) voted to adopt Unified English Braille (UEB), the language the rest of the English-speaking world uses. The United States has used the English Braille American Edition (EBAE) since 1959, and there have been few changes to it in that time. Implementation of the new language is expected to start next year, and each state must have a plan on how to move forward with UEB education.

“It was discussed a lot and talked about a lot, but I didn’t pay much attention because it’s been talked about for several years,” Pogrund said. “It’s a huge shift to make a change like this.”