THE 15TH ANNIVERSARY BRAILLE CHALLENGE WILL BE ONE FOR THE RECORD BOOKS!
Not only did we have more than 1,100 students participating in 46 regional Braille Challenge events, but this year's 60 finalists will be traveling to the June 20 finals from 29 different states as well as British Columbia (did you know that Kansas and Iowa will be sending 5 finalists each, the most for any state this year!). We will also be welcoming 16 first time finalists for this year's event. We invite you to visit our Facebook page to get the latest updates and share your #BrailleChallenge excitment. You should also check out the new pages created to acknowledge our 46 wonderful regional events!
As we entered June, "Braille Challenge Month", we announced the 2015 Teacher of the Year. This year's Teacher of the Year, Patricia L. Leader, was selected from an unparalleled group of nominees. Each nominees is an inspiration to many and should be recognized for his/her contributions to our industry. Read more about Ms. Leader and the other Teacher of the Year nominees.
Check back often to learn more about the latest event updates as there are more surprises in store!!
View the list of 2015 Finalists.
What is Braille Challenge?
The Braille Challenge® is an academic competition unlike any other. This two-stage contest is designed to motivate blind students to emphasize their study of braille, while rewarding their success with fun-filled, but challenging, local and national events. Any visually impaired student who reads braille is eligible to participate in the preliminary Challenge contest events, which were held from January through the end of March throughout the U.S. and Canada. Contests are proctored by volunteer teachers for visually impaired students and scored locally according to our national guidelines by volunteer transcribers. Each contestant receives a brailled certificate of appreciation and general feedback on their performance, which will be sent to families and educators in May.
This year The Braille Challenge will be held at 46 different sites and will be proctored by up to 80 individual teachers of visually impaired students from throughout the United States and Canada. The preliminary round is open to students of all skills levels, but the top-scoring 60 contestants nationally will be invited to Los Angeles in June for a Final Round—two days of competition, camaraderie and fun. Braille Challenge contest categories include reading comprehension, braille speed and accuracy, proofreading, spelling and reading tactile charts and graphs.
Unified English Braille (UEB) Option to be Offered for Grades 1-2 for 2015
Since both the United States and Canada have now adopted Unified English Braille (UEB) as their official code The Braille Challenge will be offering a UEB option for the Apprentice level only in 2015.
This means students in grades 1 and 2 will have the option to choose this year. They may take all three contests in EBAE (the current English Braille American Edition) or in the new UEB code , but may not mix the two . Eligibility for Finals will not be affected. Students who earn the top scores, regardless of code selection, will advance to the Finals. An uncontracted option will be available for both codes.
To learn more about UEB, and to find tutorials and sample documents, please visit the Braille Authority of North America (BANA) website
Additionally, there is a new APH Quick Tip video regarding the American Printing House for the Blind's implementation plans for providing k-12 tests and textbooks UEB.
Braille Institute plans to provide Challenge contests for all grade levels exclusively in UEB the following year, to align with BANA's target implementation date of January 2016.
A BIG THANK YOU TO OUR SPONSORS
The Braille Challenge® wouldn’t be possible without the support of our sponsors. Their generosity supports all facets of the program, from producing contests to providing high tech prizes to sponsoring our gala awards ceremony.