FHSD Students Excel in Regional Braille Challenge

Posted on 04/12/2019
FHSD students are honored by the Board of Education for their performance in the Braille Challenge

Four students from FHSD who are blind or visually impaired were recently honored for their performance in the Braille Challenge regional competition. Tyler Groves, a sixth grader at Saeger Middle and Luke McKeon, a fourth grader at Warren Elementary, both captured a first-place finish. FHC sophomore Claire Wright and Warren fourth grader Olivia Wright both received Honorable Mention.

Claire Wright enjoyed the competition and spending time with friends, but it wasn’t all fun and games. “The tactile graphics activity was very challenging,” she said. “We had to identify and interpret different graphics and charts, and then answer questions about it. It takes practice to get good at it.”

Any blind or visually impaired student from first grade through high school who can read and write braille is eligible to participate in the Braille Challenge. Contestants are divided into five categories and tested on fundamental braille skills such as reading comprehension, spelling, speed and accuracy, proofreading, and charts and graphs. Contests are judged by volunteer Teachers of the Visually Impaired and scored locally by volunteer transcribers, based on national guidelines.

“The Braille Challenge is an exciting event for our students to participate in,” said FHSD Director of Alternative Learning Dr. Will Vanderpool. “It celebrates their talents and the years of hard work to learn an alternative system for reading and writing that supports students with visual impairments. The event highlights those accomplishments through competition and the ability to excel with this skill.”

The Braille Challenge is the only academic competition of its kind in North America for students who are blind or visually impaired. The Braille Institute developed the Braille Challenge to motivate students to practice and hone their braille literacy skills, which are essential to future academic and employment success.

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