Congratulations on advancing to The 2020 Remote Braille Challenge Finals!

Please read this information carefully. Here you will find everything you need to know as you prepare for the Remote Braille Challenge Finals. 

Remote Braille Challenge Finals Agenda

Monday, July 6 –
Sunday, July 12
CONTEST PROCTORING WEEK
Location: Private Remote Testing Locations
Wednesday, July 15 –
Friday, July 17
CONTEST SCORING
Location:  Braille Institute, Los Angeles
Monday, July 20 –
Friday, July 24
WEBINAR WEEK
Monday, July 20
Time: 11:00 am PDT/2:00 pm EDT
The BrailleNote Touch Plus
Presenter: Humanware
Register Here
Tuesday, July 21
Time: 12:00 pm PDT/3:00 pm EDT
Successful Outcomes Start with Braille Literacy 
Presenter: American Printing House for the Blind (APH)
Register Here
Wednesday, July 22
Time: 10:00 am PDT/ 1:00 pm EDT
Access Technology for Blind and Low Vision Accessibility
Presenter: Dr. Yue-Ting Siu
Register Here
Thursday, July 23
Time: 12:00 pm PDT / 3:00 pm EDT
Braille Challenge Alumni Panel
Presenters:  Desmond Delgadillo, Caitlin Hernandez, Miso Kwak, Claire Stanley
Register Here
Monday, July 27 – Thursday, July 30
Time: TBA
FINALIST SOCIAL HOURS
Friday, July 31 
Time: 2:00 pm PDT
2020 REMOTE BRAILLE CHALLENGE FINALS AWARDS CEREMONY
Keynote: David D’Arcangelo, Commissioner, Massachusetts Commission for the Blind
Location:  Livestream
Register Here
Hey! Want to win a gift card or some cool Braille Institute swag? Don’t forget…
    • Participate in our social media challenge!
    • Join our webinars!
    • Host your own awards ceremony watch party!
20th Anniversary Braille Challenge - Celebrating 20 Years of Braille Literacy

Overview of Remote Finals

The testing portion of Braille Challenge Finals will be held remotely this year to accommodate social distancing. Contest Proctoring Week is Monday, July 6 through Sunday, July 12.

Finalists will take their contest at a privately proctored testing location determined by each finalist’s family, their TVI and/or regional Braille Challenge coordinator(s). Braille Institute staff will securely ship contests and all necessary items to the Proctor a few days before your contest in scheduled. Contests will then be sent back to Braille Institute for scoring. Contest scoring will take place from Monday, July 13 through Wednesday, July 22.

Winners of Braille Challenge Finals will be announced Friday, July 31, at 2:00 pm PDT, during a virtual Awards Ceremony hosted by Braille Institute and livestreamed on Braille Institute’s YouTube channel.  You will hear from Braille Institute President Peter Mindnich, Braille Challenge Alum Desmond Delgadillo and our keynote speaker: David D’Arcangelo, Commissioner of the Massachusetts Commission for the Blind.  

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCx0VNB70pfNYuQxrOIii4uA

Register to attend here!

The ceremony will also feature the announcement of the winners, guest speakers, and other entertainment.

In celebration of this momentous occasion, we invite you to host your very own Braille Challenge watch party! Gather with your friends and family to livestream the awards ceremony and share on social media! Make sure to cheer on your favorite finalist(s), support braille literacy, and just have fun!

And don’t forget! While you watch, you can join our global conversation on YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter using the hashtag #KeepCalmandBrailleOn!

The livestream with the most views wins a gift card!

We know that things are a lot different this year and this is not the Finals experience that you are used to. We are proud to be able to host Braille Challenge Finals in its 20th year and are excited the event will have many of the same features that it normally does, along with new aspects that are unique to this year’s format.

To help you better understand how things will go this year, we will have a Finalist Orientation for you and your families. Braille Institute staff will go over logistics/parameters and answer any questions and concerns that you may have as you prepare for testing.

  • Orientations will take place at three (3) different times during the week of Monday, June 29, through Friday, July 3. Please see orientation dates and times below. A link will be sent for you to confirm your spot in your desired session.

Finalist and Family Orientations

    • Monday, June 29 – 3 p.m. PST/6 p.m. EST
    • Wednesday, July 1 – 12 p.m. PST/3 p.m. EST
    • Thursday, July 2 – 9 a.m. PST/12 p.m. EST

Braille Institute staff will host a Proctor Training for those who will proctor a Finals contest. We will assist in coordinating with your TVI and/or regional Braille Challenge coordinator(s) to determine who will be the Proctor and to coordinate a testing location, date, and time.

  • Proctor Training Sessions will take place at three (3) different times during the week of Monday, June 29, through Friday, July 3. Please see training dates and times below. If you are a Proctor, a link will be sent for you to confirm your spot in your desired session.

Proctor Training Sessions

    • Monday, June 29 – 12 p.m. PST/3 p.m. EST
    • Wednesday, July 1 – 9 a.m. PST/12 p.m. EST
    • Thursday, July 2 – 3 p.m. PST/6 p.m. EST

Braille Challenge Finals – Webinars Week

Monday, July 20 – Friday, July 24

BrailleNote Touch Plus

Date: Monday, July 20
Time: 11:00 a.m. PDT / 2:00 p.m. EDT

Workshop Description: The BrailleNote Touch Plus is an intuitive, efficient and modern device that students can use to complete classroom assignments as well as a myriad of other tasks. As a fully Google certified Braille tablet, classroom advantages include access to Google Apps for Education, access to apps in the Google Play Store and efficient ways to share classroom content. In addition, the BrailleNote Touch Plus provides the user with applications designed specifically with a Braille user in mind for not only creating and consuming content in documents books and webpages, but also accessing math content in a Braille-first way to further promote participation within the math classroom. Join us in an in-depth look at how the BrailleNote Touch Plus is used to promote Braille Literacy across all facets of daily life.  Register here.

Workshop Presenters: Humanware

Successful Outcomes Start with Braille Literacy

Date: Tuesday, July 21
Time: 12:00 p.m. PDT / 3:00 p.m. EDT

Workshop Description: The journey that ends with successful outcomes in the classroom and workplace begins with the mastery of the braille code. Please join members of the APH team for an insightful discussion on how braille and braille technology positively impacted their education and careers. Greg Stilson, Joe Hodge, and APH’s own Braille Challenge winner Jessica Minneci, will highlight braille’s importance throughout their journeys, with moderator Paul Ferrara leading the discussion. Register here.

Workshop Presenters: Members of the APH team that include: Paul Ferrara, Jessica Minneci, Greg Stilson, and Joe Hodge.

Access Technology for Blind and Low Vision Accessibility

Date: Wednesday, July 22
Time: 10:00 a.m. PDT / 1:00 p.m. EDT

Workshop Description: This webinar, led by author and San Francisco State University Professor, Dr. Yue-Ting Siu, will introduce participants to how technology can advance opportunities for independence, leadership, and timely access to information for students who are blind or visually impaired. Participants will learn a variety of strategies about how to support and advocate for digital multimedia accessibility in the classroom, and how to scale up students’ digital literacy skills. Register here.

Workshop Presenter Bio: Ting is a Teacher of Blind and Low Vision Students (TVI) and coordinates the Program in Visual Impairments at San Francisco State University. She has worked with students of all ages with visual impairments and additional disabilities including deafblindness. Her research focuses on enhancing TVIs’ proficiency with access technology, social media for ongoing professional development, and innovations in multimedia accessibility. Ting’s mission is to align technology initiatives with universal design and empower learners with equitable access to information.
Connect with her on Facebook or Twitter @TVI_ting (www.tplus.education)

Braille Challenge Alumni Panel

Date: Thursday, July 23
Time: 12:00 p.m. PDT / 3:00 p.m. EDT

Workshop Description: So what’s next? Wondering how to get there from here? Join us for a Braille Challenge Alumni panel to hear from those who have been in your shoes and can give insider tips for success as you approach transitions and next steps in life. Topics will include higher education, employment, independence, and preparing for success. After an overview by each panelist, you will have the opportunity to ask questions. Sound great? Join us!  Register here.

Workshop Presenter Bios:

Desmond Delgadillo
Desmond Delgadillo competed in the Braille Challenge from 2004-2009, when he took top honors. In 2012 Desmond returned to the Braille Challenge finals to speak in front of the finalists and their parents. Since then, Desmond has made inroads in the entertainment industry as a standup comedian, radio personality, and music critic.

In 2016, Desmond earned his journalism BA from the University of La Verne.

Today, Desmond enjoys his independence to the fullest as a self-employed freelance copywriter.

Some of Des’s fondest memories of Braille Challenge include dreading graphs and charts every single time, getting to meet American Idol’s Scott McIntyre in 2009, and, of course, the long-lasting relationships cultivated with so many fellow finalists, parents, and staff and volunteers who work tirelessly to make Braille Challenge so special for so many people.

Desmond invites any finalists, alumni, and parents to reach out with any questions, concerns, or calls for mentorship. He can be reached directly at desdelgadillo@gmail.com.

Caitlin Hernandez
Caitlin Hernandez participated in the first-ever Los Angeles Braille Challenge in 1999 when she was nine years old. She competed sporadically until 2008, placing first at the Varsity level in 2006 and 2008.

Caitlin earned her BA in Literature from the University of California at Santa Cruz, and her master’s degree in special education and teaching credential from San Francisco State University. A full-time special education teacher, she currently teaches sighted elementary schoolers with various reading, learning, and behavioral disabilities.

Caitlin is a two-time fellow of Lambda Literary’s writing retreat for emerging LGBTQQIA voices. Her young-adult fiction and nonfiction prose appear online and in several anthologies. A hardcore ice cream enthusiast, she loves reading, singing a cappella and karaoke, and going on adventures with friends. You’ll never find Caitlin without her BrailleNote, with its pin-festooned strap, and her rainbow-colored cane.

Caitlin’s favorite Braille Challenge memory is from nationals in the early 2000s. Contestants played in the hotel pool until after dark, while their parents ordered pizza. The game everyone liked best was seeing who could hold their breath longest, and who was best at guessing songs their friends hummed underwater.

You can e-mail Caitlin any time at caitlinh4590@gmail.com or find her on Facebook at http://facebook.com/amordemialma .

Miso Kwak
Miso participated in the Braille Challenge from 2009-2013. One of her favorite Braille Challenge memories is competing with slate and stylus, including the speed and accuracy portion of the competition.

She currently works at the Human Services Research Institute, supporting the work of making disability and aging policies and services to be more person-centered.

Miso holds a B.A. in Psychology from UCLA and Ed.M. in Education Policy and Management from the Harvard Graduate School of Education. She is passionate about making educational opportunities more accessible for students with disabilities.

You can reach her via email at misokwak12@gmail.com.

Claire Stanley
Claire Stanley is the Advocacy and Outreach Specialist for the American Council of the Blind. She regularly visits congressional staff members to lobby for laws to benefit the blind and visually impaired community. Before her position at ACB, Claire was the Training Specialist at the Mid-Atlantic ADA Center where she educated populations on the intricacies of the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Before that, she was a public interest fellow at Disability Rights D.C. She graduated from law school at the University of Irvine in 2015, and undergrad at the University of California Davis in 2011. Claire is an arts and crafts enthusiast, and sings at her church. She has a yellow lab guide dog named Tulane.

We will regularly post updates on the main Braille Challenge page of our website along with our Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/brailleinstituteyouth/. We will also send out direct communication whenever possible.

If you still have general questions, please contact:

Rachel Antoine, National Programs Coordinator

 

Matthew Beckwith, National Programs Specialist