In March, Junior Reporter Darren O. competed in the Northern California Regional Braille Challenge where blind students compete to see who can spell and read the best in braille. Darren wanted to share his experience with Xyza readers and maybe even challenge some to a braille challenge of his own! Who’s up for the challenge?
Check out his experience at this year’s Regional Braille Challenge.
My Day at the Braille Challenge
By Darren O.
Did you know there are over 600,000 blind students in the United States?
Blind students read and write using braille, which is a system of raised dots that you read with your fingertips. Different dots represent different letters, for example, one dot in the upper left of a braille cell is the letter A, and four on the top of the cell is a G.
The Braille Challenge is a competition where they test how well blind students read and write braille. There are regional braille challenges all over the United States and the students who do the best then go to the National Braille Challenge.
On March 3, 2018, I attended the Northern California Regional Braille Challenge in San Jose. They gave us breakfast first, then a blind student from Stanford gave a speech about how important braille was to her.
We then split up into different age groups and started our first test which was reading comprehension. Then we did spelling where a teacher read words aloud and we wrote them on a brailler, which is like a typewriter that prints braille. After pizza for lunch, we then did our last test which was proofreading.
After the testing, they had games to play like an obstacle course and something called “audio darts”, which I was too young to play. One boy played piano and sang “Hallelujah” and a group of three girls sang the song “Photograph”.
Last, there was an awards ceremony. They gave 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place prizes in different age groups. I finished 3rd in my group and won a $25 gift card and a small trophy.
It was a good experience, I met some friends and got to practice my braille. I look forward to next year!