Michael F. Easley

The Great Seal of the State of North Carolina Dempsey Benton

North Carolina
Department of Health and Human Services

For Release: IMMEDIATE
Date: January 7, 2008

  Contact: Mark Van Sciver or
                        Kathryn Flynn 919-593-1114

N.C. State Braille Challenge™ Set

RALEIGH – The North Carolina Braille Challenge™ is set for February.  The Challenge is designed to motivate school-age Braille readers to excel in Braille skills, which are essential to their success in the sighted world. Academic research has shown that the early learning of Braille correlates strongly with both academic and employment success later in life.

The Braille Challenge program was designed by the Braille Institute of America and is coordinated through an array of academic and community partners.  Three agencies are hosting this year’s event. The Governor Morehead School for the Blind and OutReach will host students February 21 in Raleigh on the Morehead school campus. The western region will host students at Catawba Rosenwald Educational Center, 10 East 25th St., Newton, on February 22. The eastern region will be held in the Speight Building, East Carolina University on February 23.

At the daylong events children age 6-19 will compete in five challenging categories requiring them to write and read Braille using a device called a Perkins brailler. Each category is designed to test Braille skills in reading comprehension, Braille spelling, chart and graph reading, proofreading and Braille speed and accuracy (dictation).

Top scoring students from across the United States and Canada compete hoping to qualify for 60 spots in June for the Braille Challenge™ at the Braille Institute in Los Angeles. All students participating in the preliminary-round contests are acknowledged with prizes.  In addition, Perkins Products at Perkins School for the Blind and Seedlings Braille Books for Children have donated gift certificates. Freedom Scientific has donated a DAISY reader for each site. One student from each site will be eligible to enter a drawing for an electric Braille writer.

To register your student to participate in this unique Braille literacy contest or for more information, call (919)715-4257 or 1-800-LEA-EYES or email Kathryn.Flynn@ncmail.net  (Central and Eastern Sites) or Angela Biggerstaff Angela_Coulter@catawba.k12.nc.us (Western Site). Deadline for registration is January 19.



Public Affairs Office
101 Blair Drive, Raleigh, NC 27603
FAX (919)733-7447

Debbie Crane