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Braille Challenge is the only academic competition of its kind held in January through March each year for students who are blind or visually impaired. Braille Institute developed Braille Challenge to motivate students to practice and hone their braille literacy skills, which are essential to academic and employment success.

Any blind or visually impaired student in first through twelfth grades who can read and write braille is eligible to participate in the Braille Challenge. Contestants are divided into five categories and tested on fundamental braille skills such as:

  • Reading Comprehension
  • Spelling
  • Speed and Accuracy
  • Proofreading
  • Charts and Graphs

Regional contests are proctored by volunteer Teachers of the Visually Impaired and scored locally by volunteer transcribers, based on national guidelines.

All students can compete in the preliminary Braille Challenge events, which are typically held from January through mid-March throughout the United States,  Canada and now the United Kingdom but only the top 50 students (10 in each category) with the highest scores are invited for the final round – two days of competition, camaraderie and fun!

Contest Age Groups

  • Apprentice: 1-2 grades
  • Freshman: 3-4 grades
  • Sophomore: 5-6 grades
  • Junior Varsity: 7-9 grades
  • Varsity: 10-12 grades

Regional Events

To participate, volunteer, and get involved, find a regional near you.  There are over 50 regional events in the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom.

Teacher Proctored Contests

If you are unable to attend a regional event you can still particpate and take the contest with your teacher. Learn more

Timeline
Young girl with blonde hair competing in the Braille Challenge

The Braille Challenge begins expanding with its second Regional. The program continues to grow each year, now including more than 1,200 youths from across the United States and Canada and 54 Regional Braille Challenges.

Braille Challenge alumni

Braille Challenge celebrates its 20th anniversary of promoting the importance of braille literacy with youth. They host the first-ever remote Braille Challenge Finals due to the COVID-19 pandemic social-distancing mandates.

timeline from 2000 to 2020

First Braille Challenge is held, for Southern California youths. It is an academic contest designed to encourage blind youngsters to practice their braille skills.

2019 Teacher of the Year Kateri Gullifor

Braille Challenge holds its 10th annual event, highlighting Braille Institute’s dedication to the awareness of braille literacy.

Proclamation from City of Los Angeles for 20th Anniversary of Braille Challenge in 2020

Young girl with blonde hair competing in the Braille Challenge

2000

First Braille Challenge is held, for Southern California youths. It is an academic contest designed to encourage blind youngsters to practice their braille skills.

2019 Teacher of the Year Kateri Gullifor

2005

The Braille Challenge begins expanding with its second Regional. The program continues to grow each year, now including more than 1,200 youths from across the United States and Canada and 54 Regional Braille Challenges.

Braille Challenge alumni

2010

Braille Challenge holds its 10th annual event, highlighting Braille Institute’s dedication to the awareness of braille literacy.

2020

Braille Challenge celebrates its 20th anniversary of promoting the importance of braille literacy with youth. They host the first-ever remote Braille Challenge Finals due to the COVID-19 pandemic social-distancing mandates.

Proclamation from City of Los Angeles for 20th Anniversary of Braille Challenge in 2020

2021 BRAILLE CHALLENGE FINALS SPONSORS
City National Bank
Humanware
Mattel
Seedlings Braille Books for Children