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Ft. Wright Girl a Finalist in 2017 Braille Challenge

A girl from Ft. Wright is among the finalists in the 2017 Braille Challenge.

50 finalists, ages 6 to 19, along with their families and industry leaders will gather at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles on June 17. Calli Larison, of Ft. Wright, is among them, the Braille Institute, host of the event, announced. 

Braille Institute developed the two-stage annual competition, now in its 17th year, to encourage children with low to no vision to fine-tune their braille skills and celebrate their accomplishments. This year more than 1,100 braille readers participated in one of 51 preliminary regional events across the US and Canada.

The top 50 Braille Challenge finalists compete in five categories: reading comprehension, spelling, chart and graph reading, proofreading and, speed and accuracy. Once the competition is complete, the top three finalists in each age category are recognized at a special awards ceremony honoring all 50 finalists and their families.  

For the first time in the 17-year history of the annual event, Braille Institute has moved The Braille Challenge finals from its Los Angeles headquarters to the USC campus. In this move, Braille Institute staff worked with USC to create a Braille Challenge Village environment so that each family can stay in apartments on the campus and experience the excitement of college life. As students compete, parents are invited to attend special workshops, classes, and tours.   Additionally, finalists and their families can participate in hosted on and off campus excursions to popular Los Angeles spots.

Larison is a finalist in the freshman category for 3rd and 4th grade students. She is a representative of American Printing House, which is based in Louisville.

"The Braille Challenge is a hallmark program for Braille Institute as it focuses on braille literacy while supporting children with vision loss in communities across the country and in Canada to strengthen their academic and social skills," said Peter Mindnich, President, Braille Institute. "We see participants blossom with confidence, self-assurance and a belief that they can accomplish anything they set out to do. The rewards are immeasurable for everyone involved in the annual event.”

“We are thrilled to move our 2017 Braille Challenge Finals to the University of Southern California, one of the world’s leading private universities,” said Sergio Oliva, Director of National Programs, Braille Institute. “By having students and their families spend time in college classrooms and apartments, we hope to demystify many elements of higher education and related support services so that youth we serve and their families are encouraged to pursue their education and career dreams.”  

-Staff report

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