On February 20, BC hosted its third Braille Challenge at UBC. This year was the biggest event yet with 16 students representing 10 different school districts from across the province.
The Braille Challenge is the only reading and writing contest across North America in braille for blind and visually impaired students. The competition celebrates braille and all that it means for people who are blind. It rewards success through fun-filled contests in five different categories: reading comprehension, braille spelling, chart and graph reading, proofreading and braille speed and accuracy. The 60 students with the highest scores in this regional event have the opportunity to compete in a North America championship in June in Los Angeles.
The Vancouver school district had a representative from all areas serving in this years competition. Rita Schouls, one of the district's Vision resource teachers says this year the VSB was represented by two student participants, a volunteer student mentor representing Blind Beginnings, an Orientation and Mobility specialist who is training students how to navigate in a new setting, a braille transcriber who helped mark the contest exams as they were completed, two vision teachers who helped proctor the exams and a parent who spent time networking with other parents and teachers.
"We are truly proud to participate in this event and be able to facilitate networking from across the province between students, parents, teachers and transcribers!" said Schouls. "As a small incidence population, we benefit greatly from meeting each other and sharing stories of success."