Braille Institute Names Winners of the 2024 Braille Challenge

50 Blind and Visually Impaired Children Participate in Unique Academic Competition

Los Angeles — June 25, 2024 — Braille Institute proudly announces the winners of the 2024 Braille Challenge competition, recognized at the Finals Award Ceremony held this past Saturday on the University of Southern California campus.

Celebrating its 24th year, Braille Challenge is the only academic competition of its kind for students in grades 1-12 who are blind or visually impaired. This year, the top 50 students were invited to Braille Challenge Finals from a pool of over 1,100 competitors from across the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, and Australia.

Braille Institute developed the Braille Challenge to promote the importance of braille literacy. The competition motivates students to practice and hone their braille literacy skills, which are essential to academic and employment success. According to the National Federation for the Blind study, only 32% of those with a visual disability attain a high school diploma or GED, and less than 16% of adults attain a bachelor’s degree or higher.

“Knowing braille opens doors to independence and opportunity for those who are visually impaired,” said Jim (Dimitri) Kales, CEO of Braille Institute. “We celebrate and honor the dedication and achievements of these incredible students. Their hard work and determination make them true inspirations to us all.”

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.

The 2024 Braille Challenge Winners are:

FIRST PLACE

Apprentice:     Luise S. –  Arlington, VA

Freshman:       Luke F. – Charlotte, NC

Sophomore:    Hayley X. – Surrey, Woking, United Kingdom

Junior Varsity: Salome C. – New Melle, MO

Varsity:            Nathan D. – Williamsburg, IA

 

SECOND PLACE

Apprentice:     Haylee B. – Orlando, FL

Freshman:       Isaiah G. – Martensville, Canada

Sophomore:    Reese B. –  Raleigh, NC

Junior Varsity: Caylen C. – Woodlands, TX

Varsity:            Brooke P. – Leawood, KS

 

THIRD PLACE

Apprentice:     Jane G. – St. Charles, MO

Freshman:       Adalyn K. – Wausa, NE

Sophomore:    Emma S. – Edinburgh, IN

Junior Varsity: Leo D. – Austin, TX

Varsity:            Lynn W. – Trabuco Canyon, CA

 

TEACHER OF THE YEAR: Lauren Ingersoll, South County Consortium for Special Education – San Diego, CA

 

EXCELLENCE IN SPELLING: Luise S. – Arlington, VA

 

EXCELLENCE IN READING COMPETITION: Brooke P. – Leawood, KS

 

HARLEY FETTERMAN AWARD FOR EXCELLENCE IN CHARTS AND GRAPHS: Christopher M. – Douglasville, GA