Collinsville sophomore earns bronze award at Braille Challenge

March 28, 2016 |

If braille literacy is the key to employment for blind people, then Holly Felkins from Collinsville has a bright future ahead.

Felkins recently earned a bronze award in the varsity category at the Braille Challenge competition held at the Oklahoma School for the Blind in Muskogee, where she is a student.

The Braille Challenge is a national program sponsored by the Braille Institute, a nonprofit organization that eliminates barriers caused by blindness and severe sight loss.

“The braille challenge competition … is important because it emphasizes the link between braille proficiency and success in school and ultimately employment,” said Jody Harlan, Oklahoma Department of Rehabilitation Services Communications Director, in an interview with the Owasso Reporter. Seventeen students from Oklahoma competed in the academic contest, which measured students’ proficiency in braille reading and comprehension, speed and accuracy, spelling, proofreading and tactile graphics.

Sixty of the top-scoring competitors in the U.S. will advance to the Braille Challenge Finals in Los Angeles in June. National prize sponsors for OSB’s Braille Challenge are Braille Institute, Humanware, Seedlings and National Braille Press.

“Holly has been a competitor in the challenge for at least three years and has medaled in all of them,” said Harlan. “She’s a bright student … [and] to consistently win year after year, it shows her skills are improving.”