Special Education

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2017 Braille Challenge at NYSSB

The Upstate NY Braille Challenge at NYSSB took place on:
Saturday, January 28, 2017
Thank you for your support of this event!  We look forward to seeing you again next year!

What is the Braille Challenge®?

The Braille Challenge® is is an academic competition intended to motivate blind students to improve their braille and literacy skills. Students test their skills in reading comprehension, Braille speed and accuracy, proofreading, spelling and reading tactile charts and graphs.  More than 500 students from first through twelfth grades participated in the Preliminary Round last year.  The top-scoring 65 came to Los Angeles in June for the Final Round of two days of competition and prizes, camaraderie and fun! Parents are encouraged to accompany their child and TVI to the Braille Challenge®.

Flexible Brailler Options

Since more students are learning to braille using different models of braillewriters, this year we are allowing students to choose their preference, and use their own equipment. Options include the classic Perkins Brailler, the APH/Perkins Next Generation Brailler and the new APH Light Touch Perkins Brailler. All contests, including Speed and Accuracy, will be formatted for the smaller 8.5 X 11 paper size to accommodate a shorter line length. Students using larger sheets will simply braille shorter lines.

IMPORTANT MESSAGE for students taking part in the Speed and Accuracy part of the contests: The talking book has been discontinued for the Speed and Accuracy part of the contest. Students may bring either a BookPort Plus by APH or a Victor Stream by Humanware

** Students must bring their own Perkins Brailler and a BookPort Plus or Victor Stream with them that they use at school.

It is important that the student has practiced with these devices for familiarity, and have ensured that the devices are in good working order for the event.

Use of Digital Players for Speed and Accuracy Contest: The Braille Challenge® Speed and Accuracy Contests are distributed as MP3 files on SD cards, to be played on one of two approved audio players.

Parents and TVI's are encourage and welcome to attend the event with the student. However, registration must be completed by the child's TVI.

Practice Materials

Sample contests are available free for download. 
These may be accessed by visiting the Braille Institute external link website.


Batavia Lions Club

New York State School for the Blind Alumni Association

Humanware external link —Victor Stream players

National Braille Press external link —gift certificates for their catalog of braille books and products

Seedlings Braille Books for Children external link —gift certificates for a book or t-shirt from their catalog

Perkins Products external link —gift certificates for a braille Sudoku game

The New York State School for the Blind wishes to gratefully acknowledge the generous support of our 2015 Regional Braille Challenge sponsors:

New York State School for the Blind


Last Updated: December 6, 2016