JULY 30, 2021 – LOS ANGELES – Braille Institute has announced the winners of the 2021 Braille Challenge Finals competition. Winners hail from all over North America and achieved the highest scores in Braille reading and writing in their age categories in these year’s competition, which took place remotely, with Finalists competing in their hometowns.

The 2021 Braille Challenge Finals winners are:

Apprentice Awards (1st – 2nd Grades)
1st Hao Wen Deng – Flushing, NY
2nd Zora Stover – Bloomfield, NJ
3rd Emrie Wisner – Olathe, KS

Freshman Awards (3rd – 4th Grades)
1st Salome Cummins – St. Charles, MO
2nd Janna Cheung – Toronto, ON, CAN
3rd Caleigh Caston – Douglasville, GA

Sophomore Awards (5th – 6th Grades)
1st Leo DeSantis – Austin, TX
2nd Habiba Hafez – Calgary, AB, CAN
3rd Layla Hildenbrand – Mills River, NC

Junior Varsity Awards (7th – 9th Grades)
1st Brooke Petro – Leawood, KS
2nd Madeline Mau – West Windsor, NJ
3rd Christopher Morgan – Douglasville, GA

Varsity Awards (10th – 12th Grades)
1st Christopher Abel – Acworth, GA
2nd Anthony Joey Parra – Tucson, AZ
3rd Kaleigh Brendle – Freehold, NJ

Excellence in Spelling Award
Salome Cummins – St. Charles, MO

Harley Fetterman Award for Excellence in Chart & Graphs
Nathan Deeds – Williamsburg, IA

Excellence in Reading Comprehension Award
Habiba Hafez – Calgary, AB, CAN

Contestants competed at five levels (Apprentice through Varsity) in five different categories of braille literacy, including reading comprehension, spelling, speed and accuracy, proofreading, and tactile charts and graphs.

This year’s Finals events were held remotely which included testing, a week of educational webinars conducted in partnership with industry leaders such as HumanWare and American Printing House for the Blind (APH), virtual social activities for finalists and a live streamed closing award ceremony.

The top 50 students took part in the Braille Challenge Finals from the more than 1,100 students who participated in one of the more than 50 regional competitions throughout the U.S. and Canada.

The Braille Challenge is the only academic competition of its kind in North America for students who are blind or visually impaired. It motivates students grades 1-12 to hone and practice their braille literacy skills.

Visit https://brailleinstitute.org/braille-challenge for more information.

Media interviews with student finalists and winners are available – contact Jack Follman at (360) 421-3095.