National Certification in Literary Braille Certification (NCLB)


The National Blindness Professional Certification Board (NBPCB) administers the National Certification in Literary Braille (NCLB) exam as a five-year renewable certification awarded to those who successfully pass all four sections of the exam. Although the test can be taken by anyone, it is intended primarily for teachers and future teachers of braille. Individuals who are interested in applying for NCLB certification are strongly encouraged to familiarize themselves with all of the information included here.


Why Is The NCLB Important?

If you currently hold a degree in working with either blind adults or children, you have met the curriculum requirements of a specific university. However, each professional preparation program establishes its own criteria for braille competency. By adding the designation of NCLB certification administered by a nationally recognized credentialing organization, you will unequivocally demonstrate that you possess knowledge and skill in the use of the braille code beyond the rudimentary level.


Why Become Certified?

There are a number of professions that have volunteer certification as a part of distinguishing individuals as possessing a standard of expertise. Physicians and teachers are just two examples. The existence of certifications developed in these professions is indicative proof of the need to meet specific standards that are uniformly applied to those engaging in specialized fields.


The goal of the NCLB, as any other certification process is to:

  • Recognize that a uniform national standard set by professionals in the field has been met.
  • Assure employers, school administrators, colleagues, consumers, families, and other professionals that certificants possess appropriate braille knowledge and skills.
  • Enhance professional credibility.
  • Increase job competitiveness.
  • Contribute to a higher degree of job satisfaction.
  • Provide an opportunity for professional development.
  • Prepare professionals and paraprofessionals to meet current and future needs.
  • Provide essential information necessary for consumers to make informed choices.



There are no prerequisites for taking the NCLB exam. However, it is presumed that you have received adequate preparation in learning to read and write literary braille.


Dates And Locations

To find dates and locations for upcoming NCLB exams, check our website often as we are continually adding new test dates and locations. Tests are scheduled in Ruston, Louisiana on a monthly basis and you may also request a specific test administration in your area. For more information about this option, contact us at



Registration Process

Individuals wishing to demonstrate their proficiency in the literary braille code may register and submit appropriate fees. After your registration has been processed, you will be contacted to confirm testing date, time, location, and any other relevant information related to taking the exam. No registration will be processed until the NBPCB has received the full amount of the testing fee unless specific arrangements have been made.



Following is a list of the applicable fees for certification. Your registration will not be processed if the appropriate fee is not paid in full at the time of registration unless specific arrangements have been made. Fees apply uniformly to initial certification as well as recertification.

  • Professional Fee - $200.00
  • Student Fee* - $200.00

Retest Fees 

  • Professional Fee - $200.00
  • Student Fee* - $200.00
  • Single Section - $50.00 (each section)
  • Certificate Replacement Fee - $20.00
  • Sample Test and Extra practice Materials $50

* * Individuals who are current students or recent graduates (within last 6 months) of University Personnel Preparation programs for Special Educators may contact to see if a discounted rate may be available. The NBPCB reserves the right to make exceptions to student eligibility as well as the right to request proof of current standing.


Payment Information

All fees can be paid online by credit card or PayPal account. You will have the option to pay online as part of the registration process, or you may go to our home page,, and click Online Payment. Fees may alternatively be paid by personal check, bank draft, or money order. All payments should be made out to:


NCLB Registration
101 South Trenton Street
Ruston, LA 71270


Return Check Policy

A fee of $25.00 will be charged for any returned check. Fees must then be paid by bank draft or money order. No services will be provided by NBPCB until all fees are paid in full.



If you do not wish to take the exam after submitting your registration, 50% of the total fee will be refunded upon request. All other fees are non-refundable.



Material Covered In The Exam

The NCLB covers contracted literary braille. The official reference for the exam is the 1994 edition of English Braille American Edition (EBAE) as revised in 2002 and including the 2007 updates. (These updates can be obtained through either the American Printing House for the Blind or downloaded from the Braille Authority of North America (BANA) website.) At this time, test takers will not be held responsible for changes made after 2007. If you wish to use the EBAE during the exam, you must furnish your own copy.


The examination consists of four sections:

  1. Braille Writing: using a braillewriter
  2. Braille Writing: using a slate and stylus
  3. Proofreading: identifying embedded errors
  4. Multiple Choice: answering questions about correct braille usage and rules


You will be allowed to use a copy of the EBAE as a reference guide for only the first three sections.


Examination Process

You will have a maximum of six (6) hours to complete the test: two (2) hours for Braillewriter; one (1) hour for Slate & Stylus; two (2) hours for Proofreading; and one (1) hour for Multiple Choice. However, a typical test administration may last up to 8 hours because of check-in time, breaks, and lunch.


Sample Test and Extra Practice Materials

We can provide a sample test and extra practice materials which consist of the instructions that should be followed throughout the exam, including those specific to each of the four sections. An answer key is also provided so that you may check your work. You should note that the sample test is an accurate representation of the types of tasks that are required of you on the actual exam; however, the length, complexity, and/or format of the exam may differ from this sample. Note that Multiple Choice questions are only found in the Sample Test.

Requests for these materials should be submitted to and a $50 fee is required for either print or braille formats. Consult the Payment Information section for details.


Common Errors

It has been our experience that most errors made by test takers on the NCLB can be placed into one of four categories. This information should not be used as a substitute for studying, but it is simply some information to keep in mind while you prepare to take the exam.



Simple Errors

Errors can often occur when attempts to erase mistakes are not successful or cause confusion, words or letters are overtyped, the wrong braille character is used, when a braille rule is misapplied, or when specific directions are not followed.



Errors can often occur with improper margin width, line length, centering, indentation, or other paper orientation conventions and formatting rules.


Composition Signs

Errors can often occur when rules and special conditions related to composition signs are not followed such as with italics, capitalization, letter signs, number signs, etc.



Omissions include leaving out letters, words, or entire sections of the exam.


What To Bring To The Exam

You are responsible for providing the following items on the day of the exam:

  • Government issued picture ID
  • Manual braillewriter that can accommodate 11x11.5 paper and is in good working condition
  • Standard 28-cell, 4-line slate and stylus
  • One braille eraser (optional)
  • A print or braille copy of EBAE (optional)
  • Any items which have been pre-approved as an accommodation


There will be a short break between sections and 1 full hour for lunch.  You are responsible for supplying your own food and beverages but neither will be allowed in the testing room.


Prohibited Items

Any items not directly related to taking the exam must be left outside the testing area. Any questions regarding acceptable equipment or accommodations should be addressed to the NBPCB office prior to the test date.


None of the following items are permitted at any time: 

  • Lap top computer
  • Electronic braille note taking equipment
  • Cell phone
  • Camera
  • Recording device
  • Any other reference books other than EBAE
  • All other print or braille materials (All braille paper will be supplied by NBPCB.)


Exam Results

All examinations will be evaluated by a panel of qualified test scorers. You will receive an indication of pass or fail for each of the four test sections, as well as an indication of overall performance and an NCLB certificate when applicable.


We will e-mail you your scores within 6 weeks of completing the exam. For a fee, we can also send your score report to other institutions which you designate.




If you do not pass all four sections of the test, you have 18 months from the original test date to do so. If only one or two sections are not passed, then only those sections must be retaken.  If you fail more than two sections, then all sections of the test must be retaken.  Any retests can be taken at the time of any scheduled test administration.



We recognize the need for blindness professionals to continue their education and training in order to remain current on innovations and policies in the field. Once your initial five-year certification has lapsed, you must reapply to the NBPCB for recertification in order to maintain active NCLB status. You can only be recertified by successfully completing a new version of the NCLB examination.



If you have a disability that prevents you from taking the test under standard testing conditions you may request reasonable accommodations. A written request, accompanied by appropriate medical documentation, must be received at the time of registration.


The following accommodations do not require additional documentation:

  • Hand-held magnifier
  • Felt-tip marker
  • Wiki sticks
  • Closed Circuit Television (CCTV)
  • Additional personal lighting


You are responsible for providing these items along with any other pre-approved accommodations.


If a power source will be required for any accommodation, it is necessary to bring this to our attention at the time of registration. 


Canceling Or Stopping The Test

You can cancel the examination prior to the test date but only a 50% refund will be returned. If we must cancel the examination for any reason, you will receive a full refund.


If the test administration has already begun but must be stopped for any of the following reasons, no refunds will be permitted:

  • You do not want to finish the test
  • The time limit is exceeded
  • You are creating a distraction to others
  • Your equipment fails to work properly
  • The test administrator has evidence or adequate suspicion that you are cheating or otherwise manipulating the test


If testing facility conditions deteriorate to the point which negatively impacts the test administration, you will be asked to reschedule without further cost.


Appeal Process

If you feel that you have wrongfully been denied certification, you can appeal this decision. You must submit a letter within 30 days of receiving your examination scores requesting an appeal.  Be sure to include a signed statement of the grounds for your appeal and any relevant documentation.  The board members of the NBPCB will review all relevant facts and information and their decision will be binding.