Braille Institute’s National Focus on Braille Literacy Shines as More Than 50 Organizations Host Regional Braille Challenge Competitions across U.S. & Canada

1000+ Students Who Are Blind or Visually Impaired Are Expected to
Compete in Regional Events Supporting the 16
th
Annual Braille Challenge

LOS ANGELES–(BUSINESS WIRE)–The 2016
Braille Challenge
®, the only national reading and
writing contest in braille for legally blind students ages six to 19,
today announced the 50 participating cities and dates (see below). The
Braille Challenge, sponsored by Braille
Institute
, is an academic competition in two stages. It’s
designed to motivate students by emphasizing their study of braille
while rewarding their success with fun-filled, challenging local and
national events. Any student who is blind or visually impaired and reads
braille is eligible to participate in preliminary
or regional Braille Challenge events
held from January through
mid-March throughout the U.S. and Canada.

In its 16th year, The Braille Challenge offers students a
chance to compete in five categories: reading comprehension, braille
spelling, charts and graphs reading, proofreading, and braille speed and
accuracy. (See
video here
.)

“The Braille Challenge parallels the importance and educational purpose
of an academic decathlon or spelling bee for sighted children,” said
Nancy Niebrugge, Associate Vice President of Organizational Strategy at
Braille Institute. “While there are upwards of 55,000 legally blind
children in the U.S., only a portion use braille to read. Reading
braille is paramount to literacy for students. Educators working with
students who are blind or visually impaired have told us that The
Braille Challenge is a motivating factor encouraging students to
practice braille.”

“Braille reading proficiency provides an essential skill set that allows
children who are blind or visually impaired to compete with their
sighted peers in a school environment as well as later in life as they
enter the workforce,” said Peter Mindnich, President, Braille Institute.
“We are inspired by the passion and commitment of the students who
compete in The Braille Challenge. Their achievements can empower others
who are affected by sight loss to develop their braille skills as well.”

Following the first regional phase, contestants with the highest scores
are invited to compete in a second, national finals phase. Once the
regional scores are reviewed, qualifying finalists will be announced by
Braille Institute in May. Each finalist receives an exclusive invitation
to the Los Angeles headquarters of the Braille Institute to represent
the top-ranking scores.

The dates and locations of the preliminary competitions are:

                   
City           Date           Sponsoring Agency/Organization
Romney, WV 01/14/16 West Virginia Schools for the Deaf and the Blind
Colorado Springs, CO 01/21/16 Colorado School for the Deaf and the Blind
Milwaukee, WI 01/22/16 Vision Forward Association
Westbury, NY 01/23/16 East Meadow School District
Littleton, CO 01/28/16 Colorado Center for the Blind
Jacksonville, FL 01/28/16 Jacksonville Public Library
Florida Instruction Materials Center for the Visually Impaired
Florida Association for Education and Rehabilitation of the Blind
and Visually Impaired
Anaheim, CA 01/30/16 Braille Institute Anaheim Center
Des Moines, IA 01/30/16 Iowa Library For the Blind and Physically Handicapped
Iowa Braille School
Baltimore, MD 01/30/16 Maryland School for the Blind
Batavia, NY 01/30/16 NYS School for the Blind
New York, NY 01/30/16 Educational Vision Services
Vancouver, WA

02/01/16

WA State School for the Blind
Columbia, SC 02/04/16 SC Commission for the Blind
Alamagordo, NM

02/06/16

New Mexico School for the Blind
Nebraska City, NE 02/10/16 Nebraska Center for the Education of Children
Who Are Blind & Visually Impaired
Kansas City, KS 02/11/16 Kansas State School for the Blind
Baton Rouge, LA 02/11/16 Louisiana School for the Visually Impaired
St. Louis, MO 02/11/16 Missouri School for the Blind
Raleigh, NC 02/11/16 The Church of the Good Shepard
Louisville, KY 02/18/16 American Printing House (snow 02/25/16)
Sherrills Ford, NC 02/18/16 Catawba County Schools
Janesville, WI 02/18/16 Wisconsin Center for the Blind & Visually Impaired
Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada 02/19/16 UBC Faculty of Education, Dept. of ECPS
Orlando, FL 02/19/26

Grace Covenant Presbyterian Church/FIMC-VI/FAER

Florida Instruction Materials Center for the Visually Impaired
Florida Association for Education and Rehabilitation of the Blind
and Visually Impaired
Indianapolis, IN 02/20/16 Indiana School for the Blind and Visually Impaired
Marshfield, MO 02/20/16 Missouri State University
Nashville, TN 02/25/16 Tennessee School for the Blind
Macon, GA 02/25/16 GA Academy for the Blind &The Atlanta Braille Volunteers
The Atlanta Braille Volunteers
Fort Lauderdale, FL 02/26/16 Arthur Ashe, Jr. Campus
Florida Association for Education and Rehabilitation of the Blind
and Visually Impaired
Jacksonville, IL 02/26/16 Illinois School for the Visually Impaired
Muskogee, OK 02/26/16 Oklahoma School for the Blind
Fremont, CA 02/27/16 California School for the Blind
Co-Sponsor Vista Center for the Blind
Co-Sponsor with Lighthouse for the Blind
Idaho Falls, ID 02/27/16 Idaho Educational Services for the Deaf and the Blind
Flint, MI 02/27/16 Michigan Dept. of Ed.: Low Incidence Outreach
in partnership with Oakland Schools
Austin, TX 02/27/16 Region 13 Education Service Center and Texas School for the Blind
and Visually Impaired

Tucson, AZ

02/29/16

Arizona State Schools for the Deaf and the Blind

Fort Worth, TX 03/01/16 North Texas Region 11
Calgary, Alberta, Canada 03/03/16 Alberta Society for the Visually Impaired
Gooding, ID 03/03/16 Idaho School for the Deaf and Blind
Tampa, FL 03/04/16 Lions Eye Institute Foundation
Florida Instruction Materials Center for the Visually Impaired
Salt Lake City, UT

03/04/16

Utah Foundation for the Blind
Meridian, ID 03/05/16 Idaho Educational Services for the Deaf and the Blind
Newton, MA 03/05/16 The Carroll Center for the Blind
Edinburg, TX 03/05/16 Edinburg CISD & Region One Education Service Cntr

Little Rock, AR

03/10/16 Arkansas School for the Blind & Visually Impaired
Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada TBD Atlantic Provinces Special Ed. Authority

Seattle, WA

TBD Washington Council of the Blind Talking Book Library
 

About Braille Institute of America

Braille Institute of America is a nonprofit organization whose mission
is to eliminate barriers to a fulfilling life caused by blindness and
severe sight loss. It serves tens of thousands of people of all ages
each year through a broad range of free programs and services designed
to help people with vision loss lead enriched and fulfilling lives.
Funded by private donations, all services are provided to students,
clients and patrons at no charge. Braille Institute’s Los Angeles
headquarters are located at 741 N. Vermont Ave., Los Angeles. For
additional information, please visit www.braillechallenge.org
or www.brailleinstitute.org.
Follow on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/brailleinstitute
and on Twitter @BrailleInst
or use #BrailleChallenge2016.

Contacts

Tellem Grody PR, Inc.
John Tellem, 310-313-3444 x2
john@tellemgrodypr.com