Congratulations on advancing to The 2019 Braille Challenge Finals!

Please read the Finalist Information Packet carefully. Here you will find everything you need to know as you prepare for your trip to Los Angeles, for the Braille Challenge Finals at the University of Southern California.

SCHEDULE OF EVENTS

Friday, June 21st 

Location: University of Southern California

12:00 – 1:00pm Lunch (optional)
Location: USC Hotel Lobby
3540 S Figueroa St, Los Angeles CA 90007
Menu: Pizza, Salad, and Drinks
12:00 – 6:00 p.m.Finalist and Families Check In
Location: USC Hotel Lobby
The Braille Institute staff will be in the USC Hotel lobby to welcome Finalists to LA! Please make sure you check in to receive all of your Braille Challenge Finals materials for the weekend.
 Activities for contestants and families: USC Shuttles will be provided to transport families to and from the Braille Institute Los Angeles Center where check in activities will be held.

BIA History Exhibit – Contestants and families will have the opportunity to walk through an interactive and accessible historical exhibit celebrating the 100th birthday of the Braille Institute. Learn about the rich history of the Braille Institute and look forward with us towards the next 100 years of service for the blind and visually impaired.

Centennial Garden Decoration – Contestants and families have the opportunity to decorate stones for our Centennial Rock Garden. Each contestant can decorate a commemorative stone to be placed in the garden. This garden commemorates the last 100 years.

Rock Climbing Wall – Break through limitations and climb to the top! A rock climbing wall will be set up in the back parking lot for contestants and families to climb. Exposure to recreational options for physical activity is highly important for visually impaired students. Contestants will have the opportunity to flex their muscles and extend their horizons.

Pool Party at USC Hotel– Enjoy the amenities of the USC Hotel by relaxing by the pool after a day of traveling and activities.

Saturday, June 22nd

Location: University of Southern California

7:00 – 8:30 a.m.Breakfast
Location: Tutor Campus Center Courtyard
7:30 – 8:30 a.m. Shuttles to Opening Ceremony from USC Hotel (or you can walk approximately 12 minutes). 
Location: Depart from USC Hotel, Arrive at Tutor Campus Center
 9:00 – 9:30 a.m. Opening Ceremony
Location: Tutor Campus Center
Note: The USC Marching Band will be playing as the students file into the Opening Ceremony. Please make your child aware that this is a live band and the music will be loud.
9:30 – 10:00 a.m. Shuttles to Contests at USC Village (or you can walk approximately 10 minutes)
Location: Depart from Tutor Center, arrive at USC Village
10:00 – 2:00 p.m.Parent Workshops

Location: USC Village, UVN 1200

10:10 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. – Peter Tucic, Humanware

11:10 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. – Emily Coleman, Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired

1:10 p.m. – 2:00 p.m. – Ann Durham, American Printing House for the Blind

10:10 – 11:00 a.m.Challenge Session I
Location: 
USC Village
11:10 – NoonChallenge Session II
Location: 
USC Village
Noon – 1:00 p.m.Lunch
1:00 – 1:50 p.m.Challenge Session III
Location: 
USC Village
2:00 – 4:00 p.m. Shuttle Service from USC Village to USC Hotel (or you can walk approximately 15 minutes)
Location: Depart from USC Village, Arrive at USC Hotel
2:00 – 2:50 p.m.Challenge Session IV
Location: 
USC Village
5:00 – 6:30 p.m.Shuttle Service from USC Hotel to Awards Ceremony (or you can walk approximately 12 minutes)
Location:
Depart from USC Hotel, Arrive at Tutor Campus Center
5:00 – 6:30 p.m.Tactile Portraits Showcase and Step and Repeat Photo Opportunity
Location: 
Tutor Campus Center
6:30 – 9:00 p.m.The 2019 Braille Challenge Awards Banquet
Location: Tutor Campus Center
9:00 – 10:00 p.m.Dance
Location: Tutor Campus Center
9:00 – 10:30 p.m.Shuttle Service back to USC Hotel
Location: 
Depart from Tutor Campus Center, Arrive at USC Hotel

GENERAL INFORMATION

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There are a variety of airports in Southern California to select for your trip. Below are the two closest in proximity to USC. 

  • Los Angeles International Airport (LAX), is located about 16 miles away from the center of the USC Campus.
  • Bob Hope Airport (BUR) in Burbank, CA is 20 miles from the center of the USC Campus.

The Braille Challenge Finals weekend will serve as a fun, exciting, and educational experience for everyone. To help with your planning, we encourage you to consider bringing the following items:

Attire

  • Each finalist will receive a commemorative 2019 Braille Challenge Shirt to wear during the day on Saturday, June 22nd.
  • Comfortable attire for the day (tennis shoes)
  • Sunscreen
  • Hats
  • Formal attire for Saturday night Awards Banquet Ceremony
    • Note: NO sandals or shorts.

Each finalist will also receive the official 2019 Braille Challenge Finals Care Package which will include:

  • Back Pack (w two-shoulder strap)
  • I Love Braille Button
  • Fiji Water Pocket Fan
  • Lip Balm
  • Adhesive Cell Phone Wallet
  • Guzzle Stainless Bottle 26 oz
  • Energizer Jr. Portable Power Bank
  • Rally Towel
  • Water bottle
  • Cheese It
  • Fruit Gummy Snack
  • Nutri-grain breakfast bar
  • 2019 Braille Challenge Finals Year book

Braille Challenge Finals will be held on the campus of the University of Southern California (USC). USC is located approximately (3) miles from downtown Los Angeles. It is a leading private research university located in Los Angeles —  global center for arts, technology and international business. It is home to the College of Letters, Arts and Sciences and 21 academic schools and units.

  • All (50) contestants and their families will be staying at the USC Hotel, located at 3540 S Figueroa St, Los Angeles CA 90007 .
  • Braille Institute will cover (1) hotel room per finalist and their family, for a 2-night stay, with check-in starting on Friday, June 21st and check-out on Sunday, June 23rd. Families are responsible for their own transportation to and from USC and the airport.
  • If you plan to extend your stay in Los Angeles, or if you have additional guests that would like to attend, you will be responsible for your own accommodations. Note: Braille Institute will only compensate for the accommodations of finalists and their families at the USC Hotel from June 21st – June 23rd.
  • Information for two other local hotels within a (5) mile radius of USC are provided below. Vacancy is based on availability and Braille Institute does not have any rooms blocked.

Finalist Families who park at the USC  Hotel are responsible for their own parking. Standard parking rate at the USC Hotel is $30/night. Inform the concierge that you are with the Braille Challenge and you will receive a parking rate of $20/night. 

Braille Institute is not responsible for parking tickets issued.

The following meals will be provided for each finalist and up to 3 complimentary guests. Any additional guests must be listed by name as a Paid Guest (see Finalist Reservation Packet). The cost-per-meal for paid guests is $15 for Saturday’s lunch and $65 for Saturday’s Awards Banquet Dinner.

Friday Lunch

  • Pizza, Salad, and Drinks

Saturday Breakfast

  • Variety of breakfast sandwiches
    • Sausage, egg, cheese
    • Ham, egg, cheese
    • Bacon, egg, cheese
    • Egg Sandwiches
  • Mixed bagels with cream cheese
  • Seasonal fruit
  • Yogurt
  • Beverages

Saturday Lunch

  • Variety of boxed sandwiches with chips and a cookie
    • Turkey & Cheese
    • Ham & Cheese
    • Veggie & Cheese
    • Roast Beef
    • Cucumber Avocado (Vegan)

Saturday Awards Banquet Ceremony

  • Salad choice: Fuji Apple and Farm Slaw with Baby Striped Beets, Raspberry, Caramelized Mission Figs, Spiced Walnuts, Hearts of Fire and Micro Watercress, Star Anise Dressing
  • Entrée Option #1: Kids Menu: Chicken Fingers and French fries
  • Entrée Option #2: Chicken Entrée: Herb Roasted Jidori Chicken with caramelized onion, whipped potatoes, jumbo asparagus, toy box baby carrots and asiago mushroom cream sauce
  • Entrée Option #3: Vegan Entrée: Lemon Herb Risotto with English peas, grilled asparagus, roasted carrot, charred corn and seared king mushroom with paprika oil.
  • Dessert: Chocolate Truffle Mousse. Chocolate sponge base topped with a rich chocolate mousse and dusted with cocoa powder.

SHOPPING, DINING AND LIFESTYLE AMENITIES

From delicious dining options to fitness and lifestyle shopping, USC Village is conveniently located at the north end of campus. 

Shopping

Retail Services

  • Bank of America
  • CorePower Yoga provides a highly intense and incredibly mindful form of fitness.  CorePower Yoga’s passionate and encouraging certified instructors take a typical yoga practice and crank it up to 11, working every muscle and every emotion. The beautiful, spa-like studios are built to meet the highest standards of service and quality.
    No. (704) 946-7931
  • FedEx Office is a leading provider of printing solutions and business services providing fast, reliable and convenient access to the global FedEx family of shipping services. The company’s network features retail stores, centralized production centers, corporate on-site print centers, and on-site business centers at hotels, convention centers and universities. Services include digital printing, professional finishing, document creation, direct mail, signs and graphics, copying, computer rental, free Wi-Fi and corporate print solutions. In addition, the company offers FedEx Express® and FedEx Ground® shipping, Hold at FedEx Location, and packing services backed by the FedEx® Packing Pledge.
    No. (213) 746-4234
  • Sole Bicycle founded in 2009 at USC by a group of best friends sets out to introduce high quality, easy-to-use bicycles at an affordable price.

Ph. No. (213) 536-5002

  • USC Roski Eye Institute Optical Services

Ph. No. (800) 872-2273 

  • URB-E is the world’s #1 rated foldable electric vehicle. URB-E is a two-time Best of CES Winner and the answer to short distance travel needs. With a 16-20 mile range on a single charge and a top speed of 18 mph, URB-E folds small enough to fit on the train or bus, sit underneath a desk, be stored in a dorm room closet, and it can charge all your mobile devices, including your laptop.

Ph. No. (213) 423-7878

  • Village Cobbler Family owned and operated since 1988, the Village Cobbler took a step forward into a new professional line of shoe and boot repair services. We started building an honored reputation within the Los Angeles community and solving almost every type of shoe repair that customers could throw at us.

Ph. No. (213) 747-7611

Dining 

  • The Baked Bear is known for crazy, customizable desserts. We pair craft ice cream with freshly baked homemade cookies to make monster ice cream sandwiches!  This is a must try for anyone with a sweet tooth.

Ph. No. (213) 536-5767

  • Casa Barilla is an Italian family-owned food company and offers wholesome Italian cuisine for lunch and dinner, with a wide variety of pasta, pizza, panini, salads made at the moment, with fresh ingredients, and served directly to you.

Ph. No. (323) 797-8933

  • The Butcher, The Baker, The Cappiccino Maker offers Modern California Cuisine with European influences, tempting fresh baked goods, specialty coffee beverages, craft cocktails and a comprehensive wine list.  Our menu features seasonal, local, farm-fresh ingredients.
    Open daily for breakfast, brunch, lunch and dinner.

Ph. No. (310) 360-6900

  • CAVA is a Mediterranean culinary brand with a flavorful and healthy fast-casual restaurant experience featuring customizable & craveable salads, grain bowls, pitas, and house-made juices. CAVA’s chef-crafted dips and spreads are available at Whole Foods Market and other specialty markets across the country.

Ph. No. (213) 212-9838

  • Dulce serves the finest specialty coffees & teas, along with fresh salads, sandwiches and baked goods made in-house daily! Widely known for our signature items including:  Vietnamese iced coffee, single origin pourovers, blueberry matcha lattes, bacon donuts & roti buns. 

Ph. No. – not listed

  • Greenleaf Gourmet Chopshop serves up local California cuisine and craft cocktails made from the freshest ingredients. Greenleaf serves lunch and dinner daily and the menu has something for everyone with salads, sandwiches, burgers, pizzas, tacos, and Entréees. The full bar features craft cocktails and has Happy Hour daily. On the weekends, brunch is served complete with bottomless mimosas.

Ph. No. (213) 741-2114

  • Rance’s Chicago Pizza an alumnus-owned and operated restaurant featuring award-winning pizza with delicious wings, appetizers, salads and 20 craft beers on tap. Rance’s offers three styles of pizza pies: stuffed, pan and tavern, which come in a variety of specialties or you can create your own. Our dough, sauce and even dressings are made fresh in-house daily using secret family recipes. Rance’s also offer Take-Out and Take “N” Bake options as well. Specialty deep dish pies are available and ready to go for lunch by the slice all day seven days a week.

Ph. No.  (323) 329-8000

  • Starbucks We’re not just passionate purveyors of coffee, but everything else that goes with a full and rewarding coffeehouse experience. We also offer a selection of premium teas, fine pastries and other delectable treats to please the taste buds. And the music you hear in store is chosen for its artistry and appeal.

Ph. No. (213) 275-3149

  • SunLife Organics is a one-stop-shop for health, wellness and happiness. SunLife Organics uses the highest quality organic ingredients in their superfood smoothies, bowls, juices, coffee and other yummy juice bar offerings. They also offer lots of grab and go food and drink options and retail products that are in line with a healthy, happy lifestyle. All served in an environment that encourages authentic human connection. 

Ph. No. (213) 536-5659

  • Trejo’s Tacos owned by actor Danny Trejo uses his mother’s recipes as a base to create carnitas, cauliflower, fried chicken, and other flavors of tacos, burritos, bowls, salads, and quesadillas.  Along with good food, Trejo’s Tacoshas seasonal house-made agua fresca, vegan horchata, and a variety of local drinks.  Our goal is to create a destination for delicious Mexican food where people can come experience great food, enjoy their friends and family in a comfortable, safe, clean environment.
    No. (323) 938-8226
  • Wahlburgers founded by Executive Chef Paul Wahlberg and celebrity brothers Mark and Donnie offers a fun, casual music-filled atmosphere where guests, like family, share great food, a few laughs and lots of love.

Ph. No. (213) 536-5962

USC CAMPUS MAPS

Campus Map

Braille Challenge 2019 Map of USC Campus

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