Document: Learning Tables

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There are a number of approved braille teaching courses available. These courses are designed to teach braille in easy stages, adding word signs, contractions, punctuation, etc., over a number of lessons.

This feature in DBT is in no way a substitute for these courses, but it allows you to produce additional braille material for students to help them become more familiar with and use what has been introduced at each stage.

DBT currently includes 8 courses - BANA (3), BAUK/UKAAF (3) and UEB (2).

Please note: The list of courses displayed on this menu is dependent on what template was initially selected and whether a new translation table was selected subsequently.

Image shows Document Drop down menu with Learning Tables sub-menu displayed.

Details of each course can be seen by clicking on the appropriate link below:


S.A. Syllabus Level

Braille in Easy Steps (BAUK/UKAAF)

Fingerprint (UEB)

NLS I.M.B.T. (UEB 2015)

Take Off Series

TSBVI Clusters (BANA)

Mangold Method

NLS I.M.B.T. (UEB 2015)

This series of "select contractions" steps is based upon the "Instruction Manual for Braille Transcribers," (UEB, 2015) published by the National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped of the Library of Congress. The lesson numbers associated with the steps correspond to that document; the contractions are introduced as follows:

Lesson 4.2:

as, you, it, will, very, us, that, so, rather, quite, people, not, more, like, knowledge, just, have, go, from, every, do, can, but

Lesson 4.3:

with, the, of, for, and

Lesson 5.1:

still, out, which, this, shall, child

Lesson 5.3:

st, ou, wh, sh, ch, th

Lesson 6.1:

ing, ow, gh, er, ed, ar

Lesson 7.2:

be (wordsign), were, was, his

Lesson 7.3:


Lesson 7.4:

in (wordsign)

Lesson 7.5:

en, in (groupsign)

Lesson 7.7:

dis, con, be (groupsign)

Lesson 7.10:

said, quick, paid, little, letter, good

Lesson 8.1:

ea, gg, ff, cc, bb

Lesson 8.2:

great, first, below, because, above, about

Lesson 9.1:

their, world, spirit, many, had, cannot, these, whose, those, word, upon, there, ought, where, through, character, young, work, under, time, some, right, question, part, one, name, mother, lord, know, here, father, ever, day

Lesson 9.3:

perhaps, braille, always, according, children

Lesson 10.1:

ity, ment, ness, tion, ful, ong, ence, ount, less, sion, ance, ound

Lesson 10.3:

necessary, must, immediate, also, almost, across

(Full grade 2):

receiving, receive, perceiving, perceive, deceiving, deceive, conceiving, conceive, rejoicing, rejoice, declaring, declare, thyself, themselves, ourselves, oneself, myself, herself, yourselves, yourself, your, itself, its, himself, him, tomorrow, tonight, today, such, much, neither, either, would, should, could, together, friend, blind, beyond, between, beside, beneath, behind, before, altogether, although, already, against, again, afterward, afternoon, after

This last level is not in the "Select Contractions" list, because inclusion of the short-form words amounts to full grade 2, which is selected simply by choosing "English/American (Literary)" without "Select Contractions".

TSBVI Clusters (BANA)

The second graduated contractions series is based upon the "Clusters" defined and used by the Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired.

The complete TSBVI "Clusters" sequence is listed below. Note that Cluster 1 is equivalent to grade 1, and Clusters 54 and above are equivalent to grade 2.

Those clusters that are omitted in the menu are marked with an asterisk (*). Apart from Cluster 54, the reason that the others are omitted is that they introduce no new contractions nor the letter sign:

1: a, t, m
*2: b, g, i
3: a, that, more, but, go
*4: capital, period, I
*5: r, f, n
*6: x, l, s
7: rather, from, not
8: it, like, so
9: d, do, p, people, k, knowledge
10: y, you, c, can
11: h, have, o, question mark
12: q, quite, u, us, comma
13: w, will, e, every
14: v, very, z, as
15: j, just, and
*16: (Reading exercises)
17: mother, father, right, time, exclamation point
18: lord, some, day, part, name
19: know, young, here, one
20: question, under, work, ever, apostrophe
*21: number sign, numerals
22: hyphen, numeric dates, letter sign
*23: comma in large numbers
24: the, there, braille, ing, him
25: about, according, after, also, afternoon, afterward
26: th, this, although, through, across, already
*27: (Reading exercises)
28: almost, always, blind, either, neither, ed
29: of, by, myself, himself, itself, oneself, yourself
30: had, quick, its, these, cannot, open quote, closed quote
31: sh, shall, should, would, could, good, paid
32: tion, er, herself, perhaps
33: o'clock, was, con, cc, colon
34: ou, out, ought, today, tonight, tomorrow
35: for, ch, child, children, character, such, much
36: ar, ound, above, en, enough
*37: (Reading exercises)
38: great, together, little, ow, ance
39: be, bb, semicolon, spirit
40: because, before, behind, below, beneath, beside, between, beyond
41: sion, ble, his, your, friend, letter
42: less, their, ourselves, yourselves, themselves
43: with, st, still, first, must, again, against
44: ount, dollar sign, decimal, cent, many
45: percent, fraction bar, ity
46: ence, altogether, immediate, com
*47: (Reading exercises)
48: wh, which, where, world, ea
49: to, ff, in, into, those, said, ong
50: word, were, gg, parentheses
51: ness, ment, necessary, ally
52: dis, dd, gh, ation, ful
53: upon, whose, thyself
*54: conceive, conceiving, deceive, deceiving, declare, declaring, perceive, perceiving, receive, receiving, rejoice, rejoicing
*55: dash, ellipsis, asterisk, italics or underline
*56: double dash, brackets, inner quotes, accent sign, termination sign, degrees

Braille in Easy Steps (BAUK/UKAAF)

by John Lorimer (revised by Claire Wilson, 2017).

Duxbury Levels

Because three letters are not introduced until Book 7 (j, q, z), but all other letters have been learned by the end of Book 4, this would have to be the first Duxbury level, with the three missing letters taught specially if they occur. So, the Duxbury levels would look like this:

Book 4

(note: letters j, q and z may occur which are not formally taught until Book 7)

Pre-braille and tracking skills
The alphabet (j, q and z not formally introduced, but may crop up)
Wordsigns: but, can, do, every, from, go, have, knowledge, like, more, not, people, rather, so, that, us, very, will, it, you, and, of, the, in, into, was, in
Contractions: and, of, the, ed, in
Punctuation: full stop, question mark, exclamation mark, comma
Other signs: capital letter sign (dot 6)

Book 5

Contractions: er, ing
Shortforms: could, good, would
Punctuation: apostrophe

Book 6

Contractions: st, ar, en, ea
Wordsigns: still, enough
Composite signs: one, time, there, had
Shortforms: about, after, again
Punctuation: Ellipsis

Book 7

Letters: j, q, z
Wordsigns: which, his, just, quite, as, were
Contractions: wh, ow
5. after Book 8
Wordsign: shall
Contractions: gh, sh
Shortforms: him, said
Punctuation: quotation (speech) marks, hyphen

Book 9

Wordsigns: out, this
Contractions: ou, th
Composite signs: mother, father, some
Shortforms: across, perhaps

Book 10

Wordsigns: child, for, with, be
Contractions: ch, com, for, with, be, ble
Composite signs: day, where, -ound, -less
Shortforms: against, quick
Other signs: numeral sign, decimal point (dot 2), mathematical comma (dot 3), pound sign (dots 1-2-3)

Book 11

Contractions: bb, cc, dd, ff, gg, dis
Composite signs: their, word, these, -ong, -ally, -ful, -ment
Shortforms: although
Punctuation: dash

Book 12

Wordsigns: by
Contraction: con,
Composite signs: here, know, ought, right, ever, through, work
Shortforms: friend, must, your, today, tomorrow, tonight, afternoon, much, such, herself, himself, myself, yourself, above, before, below, beneath, should

Other signs: italic sign, double italic sign, italic closure sign

Book 13

Composite signs: -ance, part, name, young, -tion, -ness, -ount
Shortforms: because, behind, beside, between, beyond, children, great, its, little, afterwards, almost, always, first, together
Punctuation: brackets

By the end of Book 14, the cmplete contracted braille code should be familiar (see exceptions below - which would have to be explained if context did not make the meanings apparent)

Book 14

Composite signs: many, world, those, -ation, question, under, upon, -ence, -ity, -sion

Shortforms: also, already, blind, braille, letter, paid, receive, receiving, themselves, either, neither, immediate, necessary

Other signs: braille letter sign (dots 5-6)

Not included in this course

The following rarely used signs have not been taught in Braille in Easy Steps. The pupil is warned at the end of Book 14 that they may encounter some of these unfamiliar signs in their braille reading, and a list is given.
Composite signs: lord, character, cannot, spirit, whose
Shortforms: according, altogether, conceive, conceiving, deceive, deceiving, declare, declaring, itself, o'clock, oneself, ourselves, perceive, perceiving, rejoice, rejoicing, thyself, yourselves
Punctuation: slash, square brackets, inner quotes
Mathematical signs: plus, minus, multiplication sign, division sign, equals, per centage sign, fractions in braille, separation sign

Other signs: bullet point sign (dots 4-5-6, dots 2-5-6), asterisk (dots 3-5 twice), ampersand (dot 4, 1-2-3-4-6), accented letter sign (dot 4), Euro sign (dot 4, e)

Take Off Reading Scheme (UEB)

Take Off Series - A second stage scheme for young learners to develop phonic skills, knowledge of braille contractions and word signs, in 12 stages. The 'Take Off' series is available from RNIB under product number TC21413.

EXTERNAL LINK -- (Note: If this link should not work for you, you may paste the URL into your preferred browser to visit the RNIB web site. This link was correct as of February 2022.)

Take Off Teachers Handbook - Teachers handbook to accompany the Take Off series (print version): TC21415P.

Take Off is divided into 12 levels, and a new group of grade 2 braille signs is taught at each level.

From the start of the Take Off series all of the alphabet signs and alphabetic word signs are used with the exception of 'K' for knowledge. In addition, the short forms for "good" and "little" are also used. Punctuation symbols used from the outset are full stop, capital symbol indicator, and question mark. The numeric indicator is also used as it was previously introduced in the Hands On series. The following lists the signs and short forms as they are introduced in each level.

Series 1


Series 2


Series 3


Series 4


Series 5


Series 6


Series 7

Nonspecific quotation marks
Semi colon

Series 8

Exclamation mark

Series 9


Grade 1 indicator (formerly the letter sign)

Series 10


Series 11


Series 12


Fingerprint - Order of Sign Introduction

The "select contractions" step series is based upon the "Fingerprint" course originally developed in 1993 by the late Nigel Berry, Lecturer in Braille at the Royal National College for the Blind, Hereford, UK, and now published by the RNIB.

Please note that the tables in DBT only enable you to produce additional braille as the student progresses. They are not intended as a substitute for the actual course material itself. The following is RNIB's Product reference.

Fingerprint braille course (UEB) - Product code: TC21439

Note: The website link above was correct on 15th March 2018.

Revised edition 2015

The following list shows the order in which signs are introduced in Fingerprint. There are 24 units in the course, but no new signs are introduced in Units 1 (pre-braille skills) or 22 (practical uses of braille). The 26 letters of the alphabet are taught in Units 2 and 3, in the order shown. For all other units, the signs taught are grouped by type.

Unit 1

Pre- braille skills:
tracking and back-tracking;
early shape discrimination;
two-handed reading technique;
the braille cell, and dot numbering

Unit 2

13 letters:

a, l, d, t;
e, m, y;
b, h, o;
c, k, s

Unit 3

remaining 13 letters, full stop, capital indicator, numeric indicator and basic numbers:

g, i, u;
j, n, v;
r, x;
f, p;
w, z;

Punctuation: full stop
Special signs: capital sign, numeric sign and basic numbers

Unit 4

Alphabetic Wordsigns :but, can, do, every, from, go, have, just, knowledge, like, more, not people, quite, rather, so, that, us, very, will, it, you, as

Unit 5

Contractions: AND, ST

Wordsigns: and, still
Shortforms: about, above, according, across, after, afternoon, afterwards, again, against

Unit 6

Contractions: TH

Wordsigns: this;

Lower Wordsigns: was

Shortforms: also, almost, already, although, altogether, always

Unit 7

Lower Contractions: BE

Lower Wordsigns: be, were

Shortforms: because, before, behind, below, beneath, beside, between, beyond

Unit 8

Contractions: CH, SH

Wordsigns: child, shall

Shortforms: children, could, should, would, either, neither, first, friend, good, great, him

Unit 9

Contractions: AR, ER

Shortforms: immediate, its, letter, little, much, such, must, necessary, paid, said, perhaps

Punctuation: apostrophe

Unit 10

Contractions: THE, ING

Wordsigns: the

Shortforms: quick, today, tomorrow, tonight, together, your, blind, braille

Unit 11

Contractions: OF, WITH, GH, WH

Wordsigns: of, with, which

Punctuation: comma, question mark

Unit 12

Contractions: FOR, ED, OU, OW

Wordsigns: for, out

unit 13

Lower Wordsigns: enough, his, in

Unit 14

Composite groupsigns:

dot 4-5-6: cannot, had, many, spirit, world, their;

dot 4-5: upon, word, whose, those, these

Unit 15

Lower Contractions: EA, BB, CC, FF, GG, EN, IN, CON, DIS

Unit 16

Composite groupsigns (dot 5 signs):

day, ever, father, here, know, lord, mother, name, one;

part, question, right, some, time, under, work, young;

character, through, where, ought, there

Unit 17

Composite (final) groupsigns:

dot 4-6: -ound, -ance, -sion, -less, -ount;

dot 5-6: -ence, -ong, -ful, -tion, -ness, -ment, -ity

Unit 18


deceive, deceiving, receive, receiving, conceive, conceiving, perceive, perceiving, declare, declaring, rejoice, rejoicing;

myself, yourself, herself, himself, itself, oneself, thyself, ourselves, yourselves, themselves

Unit 19


exclamation mark, colon, semi colon, speech marks;

brackets, hyphen, dash, ellipsis, oblique stroke

Unit 20

Special signs:

accented letter signs: acute, circumflex (more in Volume 10)

grade 1 indicator (dots 5-6);

capital word indicator, capital passage indicator, capital terminator;

typeform indicators: symbol, word, passage and terminator for bold, italics and underline

Unit 21

Mathematical signs:

mathematical comma (dot 2);

numeric space (dot 5);

operation signs (plus, minus, division, multiplication, equals);


decimal point (dot 2-5-6);

money: pound sign, pence sign, Euro sign, Dollar sign;

unit abbreviations: metres, centimetres, millimetres, kilometres, grams, kilos, litres, millilitres, pounds (weight), ounces;

other signs: per cent; degrees (including degrees Fahrenheit and Centigrade)

Unit 22

(No new signs)

Using signs learned for practical applications: address and phone lists, letters, appointment calendar, etc

Unit 23

Other print signs:

Roman numerals;

long dash and ampersand;

asterisk and dagger;

bullet point sign;

copyright, trademark and registered trademark signs;

Braille Conventions:
options for poetry layout
Print abbreviations and indicators:
new print page indicator in transcribed books

Unit 24

Signs for email and website addresses:
dot, at, hyphen, underscore;
slash, colon;
numbers and capital letters in email and web addresses;
grade 1 terminator;
line continuation sign (dot 5)


The "RNZFB STAR" series is based upon the document entitled "STAR -- Order of introduction of braille signs," prepared by the Royal New Zealand Foundation of the Blind. The contractions are introduced in the following order:

Level 1.1 Alphabet letter wordsigns: like, can, but, knowledge, it, people, every
Level 1.3 Alphabet letter wordsigns: very, go, more, us, you
Level 1.5 Alphabet letter wordsigns: have, rather, do, that, so
Level 1.7 Alphabet letter wordsigns: from, just, quite, will, not, as
Level 1.8 Shortforms: about, above, according, also, again, almost, blind, little, either, immediate
Level 1.9 Shortforms: across, already, altogether, braille, could, deceive, deceiving, declare, declaring, good, great, him, its, letter, paid, said, receive, receiving, today, together, tomorrow, tonight, your, yourselves
Level 1.10 Shortforms: after, afternoon, afterward, always, friend, himself, myself, necessary, neither, quick, rejoice, rejoicing, would, yourself, itself

Level 2.1 Contractions: and, for, of
Level 2.2 Contractions: the, with
Level 2.3 Contractions: st, ar, ing, still
Level 2.4 Contractions: ed, er
Level 2.5 Contractions: ou, ow, out
Level 2.6 Contractions: ch, gh, sh, child, shall
Level 2.7 Contractions:: th, wh, this, which
Level 2.9 Shortforms: themselves, herself, against, first, must, perceive, perceiving, perhaps
Level 2.10 Shortforms: children, much, such, should, although, ourselves, thyself

Level 3.1 Contractions: en, in (groupsign)
Level 3.2 Contractions: be (wordsign) were, his, was
Level 3.3 Contractions: enough, in (wordsign)
Level 3.4 Contractions: be (groupsign) con, dis
Level 3.7 Shortforms: before, behind, below, beneath, beside, between, beyond, because, conceive, conceiving
Level 3.8 Contraction: ea
Level 3.9 Contractions: bb, cc, ff, gg

Level 4.1 Contractions (dot 5): day, ever, father, here, know, lord, mother

Level 4.2 Contractions (dot 5): name, one, part, question, right
Level 4.3 Contractions (dot 5): some, time, under, work, young
Level 4.4 Shortform: oneself
Level 4.5 Contractions (dot 5): there, where, ought
Level 4.6 Contractions (dot 5): character, through
Level 4.7 Contractions (dots 45): upon, word, these
Level 4.8 Contractions (dots 45): those, whose
Level 4.9 Contractions (dots 456): cannot, had, many
Level 4.10 Contractions (dots 456): spirit, world, their

Level 5.1 Contractions (dots 46): ound, ance, ount
Level 5.2 Contractions (dots 46): sion, less
Level 5.3 Contractions (dots 56): ence, ong, ful, ness
Level 5.4 Contractions (dots 56) (Fully contracted UEB): tion, ment, ity

S.A. Syllabus (UEB)

The "S.A. Syllabus" series is based upon the document entitled "Syllabus -- Order in Which Braille Contractions Are Learnt", prepared by Reinette Popplestone for the University of Cape Town Disability Unit, for teaching English Braille to students in South Africa. The contractions are introduced in the following order:

Level 1.1 Alphabetic word signs: but, people, can, quite, do, rather, every, so, from, that, go, us, have, very, just, will, knowledge, it, like, you, more, as, not

Level 1.2 Five contractions: and, for, of, the, with

Level 1.3 Initial-letter contractions with dot 5: day, part, ever, question, father, right, here, some, know, time, lord, under, mother, work, name, young, one, there

Level 1.4 Two related contractions: these, their

Level 2.1 Short forms: about, good, above, great, according, him, across, immediate, after, little, afternoon, letter, afterward, necessary, again, neither, also, paid, almost, quick, already, said, altogether, today, always, together, blind, tomorrow, braille, tonight, could, would, either, its, friend, your

Level 2.2 Group signs: gh, ed, er, ow, ar, ing

Level 2.3 Group signs which also have a word meaning: ch, child, sh, shall, th, this, wh, which, ou, out, st, still

Level 2.4 Initial-letter contractions with dots 45 and 456: upon, cannot, word, had, those, many, whose, spirit, world

Level 2.5 Two lower contractions: en, in (as part-word only)

Level 3.1 Lower group signs: ea, be (as part-word only), bb, con, cc, dis, ff, gg

Level 3.2 Lower word signs: be, enough, were, his, in, was

Level 3.3 The remaining initial-letter contractions: character, through, where, ought

Level 3.4 The remaining short forms: against, itself, although, yourself, declare, yourselves, declaring, themselves, deceive, children, deceiving, should, first, thyself, himself, ourselves, herself, because, myself, before, must, behind, much, below, perhaps, beneath, perceive, beside, perceiving, between, receive, beyond, receiving, conceive, rejoice, conceiving, rejoicing, oneself, such

Level 3.5 Terminal group signs: ound, ence, ance, ong, sion, ful, ness, tion, ount, ment, ity, less

Level 4.1 Contractions from pre-unified code: o'clock, ble, com, dd, to, into, by, ation, ally

Note: Level 4.1 is, naturally, not relevant when Unified English Braille is the basis of the series as level 3.5 constitutes fully contracted UEB.

Mangold Method

There are 62 Units in the Mangold Series, each listed here.

Part A

A.a (can, go, like,)
A.b (but, do, you)
A.c (so, will, people)
A.d (us, that, more)
A.e (every, have, not)
A.f (it, as, from)
A.g (very, just)
A.h (and, for of, the, with)

A.i (said, little, good)

Part B

B.a (in sign)
B.b (your, him, could, would)
B.c (w-h sign, t-h sign, which, this)
B.d (about, after, again)
B.e (s-t sign)
B.f (one, right, here)
B.g (under, day)
B.h (e-d sign, i-n-g sign)
B.i (mother, father, time)
B.j (name, know, there)

Part C

C.a (letter, friend, great, also)
C.b (a-r sign, e-r sign)
C.c (work, where)
C.d (part, ever)
C.e (s-h sign)C.f (first, must, should)
C.g (question, some, young)
C.h (paid, quick)
C.i (his, was, were)
C.j (today, tomorrow, tonight)
C.k (had, their)
C.l (cannot, many)
C.m (blind, braille, above, himself)
C.n (c-h sign, child, still, shall)
C.o (e-a sign)
C.p (together, altogether, afternoon, afterward

Part D

D.a (knowledge, quite, rather)
D.b (o-w sign, g-h sign)
D.c (yourself, yourselves, themselves, myself, herself)
D.d (enough, e-n sign)
D.e (out, o-u sign)
D.f (b-b sign, c-c sign, f-f sign, g-g sign)
D.g (tion, ment)
D.h (ity, ong)
D.i (be, because, before behind, below, beneath, beside, between, beyond)
D.j (children much, such)
D.k (con, dis)
D.l (conceive, conceiving)

Part E

E.a (ought)
E.b (thyself, its, itself)
E.c (ourselves, oneself)
E.d (immediate, neither, either, necessary)
E.e (ence, ful, ness)
E.f (against, almost, already)
E.g (according, across, although, always)
E.h (these, word)
E.i (ance, ound, ount)
E.j (receive, receiving, rejoice, rejoicing)
E.k (deceive, deceiving, declare declaring)
E.l (sion, less)
E.m (character, lord, through)
E.n (spirit, world)
E.o (whose, upon, those)

(full grade 2) (perceive, perceiving, perhaps)