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Special Education Listserv

Subject: Regional Braille Challenge

Source: Stephen Barr, Assistant Commissioner

Intended Audience: Teachers of the Visually Impaired (TVIs), Special Education Directors, and/or Parents of Visually Impaired Students  

Date: December 21, 2011

Braille Challenge, sponsored by the Braille Institute, is an academic contest for Braille readers.  The student will demonstrate their grade-level Braille skills in the areas of spelling, reading comprehension, proofreading, speed and accuracy, as well as charts and graphs.  This is a contest, not a test.  It is meant to be enjoyed and serve as a reward for students who have worked hard to improve their Braille skills. 

Each participant must provide their own Perkins brailler (this year ANY manual brailler is allowed—Next Generation, Light Touch or Classic Perkins).  Students participating in the Speed and Accuracy challenge (Varsity or Junior Varsity levels) must have a Victor Stream or Book Port Plus with ear buds or headphones.  Students may visit The Braille Challenge website at http://www.braillechallenge.org/ to review contest descriptions and download practice contests.  

Two regional competitions will be held in Missouri in the next few months.  Students may attend only one regional challenge.

Missouri School for the Blind (MSB), 3815 Magnolia, St. Louis, is hosting a Regional Braille Challenge on February 16, 2012, from 9:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.  Information about Braille Challenge is posted on the MSB website at http://msb.dese.mo.gov/ including a downloadable permission form.  Students wishing to participate must have a parent or guardian complete the permission form and mail or fax it to MSB no later than January 26, 2012.  MSB's mailing address and fax number are on the permission form.  St. Louis Lighthouse for the Blind is sponsoring this event with donated prizes and shirts.  If you have any questions about the St. Louis Regional contest, feel free to contact The Braille Challenge Coordinator, Chris Klevorn at 314-776-4320 ext. 2330 or Christina.Klevorn@msb.dese.mo.gov.

Missouri State University, Marshfield, Missouri is hosting a Regional Braille Challenge on February 25, 2012, (with a Snow Date of March 3, 2012) from 9:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

The challenge will be held on campus in Hill Hall, 905 South National Avenue, Springfield, MO.  Students wishing to participate must have a parent or guardian complete the permission form and mail it to Patty Guzman, Webster Elementary School, 650 North Locust, Marshfield, MO 65706 no later than January 6, 2012.  The permission form can be found at http://www.dese.mo.gov/se/documents/se-braille-challenge-2012.pdf.  South West MO Vision Professionals Group and South West MO Blindness Skills Specialist Project are sponsoring this challenge.  If you have any questions about the Springfield Regional contest, feel free to contact Patty Guzman at patricia.guzman@marshfieldbluejays.org or 417-859-2120 ext. 2404.