Mikaela Smith ready for annual Braille Challenge in Los Angeles

May 10, 2015 12:00 am | Annette Arnold | nwi.com

MORGAN TOWNSHIP | Mikaela Smith, a freshman at Morgan Township High School, is once again a finalist in the 15th annual Braille Challenge, the only national reading and writing contest in braille for students who are blind or visually impaired.

Smith will head to Los Angeles in June for the daylong academic competition.
The students will use a Perkins Brailler and will work in five categories including reading comprehension, spelling, chart and graph reading, proofreading and speed and accuracy.

Smith has been in the contest before and has been a finalist in 2010 and 2014.

“It’s very competitive and very stressful,” she said.

She has been blind since birth and was born with optic nerve hypoplasia.

“She is an honor student and is very gifted,” said Karen Ennis, teacher for the blind and low vision students at Morgan Township High School. “She takes a foreign language and that is an amazing feat, in itself.” Ennis also said Smith has always been a bright student “but now she is also being a wonderful role model to the younger students. I am so proud of her.”