All students who competed in the 2020 Ohio Regional Braille Challenge gather for a photo at the awards celebration

March 7, 2020

Students Across Ohio Competed for Prizes, Chance to Attend National Competition in Los Angeles

Clovernook Center for the Blind & Visually Impaired, in collaboration with the Braille Institute of America, hosted Ohio students of all ages and abilities for the Ohio Regional Braille Challenge on Thursday, February 27 at Clovernook Center in Cincinnati.

Students in grades 1-12 from all across Ohio gathered at Clovernook Center, just outside Cincinnati in North College Hill, for the event. Student contests demonstrating braille reading and comprehension, speed and accuracy, spelling, proofreading, and tactile graphics were organized by grade level, and all test formats were Unified English Braille.

The Braille Challenge is the only national reading and writing contest in braille for students who are blind and visually impaired. This event is open to students of all abilities, giving even emerging braille readers a chance to reach a personal best score.

Winners from each age group were announced immediately following the competition, complete with cash prizes, trophies and pride. At the apprentice level for first and second grades, first place went to David Pardini, second place to Brian Patton-Adams and Adaya Navarro took home third. Freshman level winners, grades three and four, were Mason Bigelow, Breanah McNutt and Jayven Hall in first, second and third place respectively. The sophomore winners, grades five and six, were Eunice Lopez-Santos, Amina Ahmed and Noah Hibbard.

In the upper divisions, the Junior Varsity winners, grades 7-9 were Hope Beshears, Perseus and Hope Williams.  The Varsity, grades 10-12, winners included Camryn Gattuso, Emily Wilson and Emril Bennett. The Clovernook Proofreading Prize, awarded to the student with the highest proofreading score, went to Camryn Gattuso.

For the top academics, the Ohio Regional Competition is the first step to the coveted Braille Institute of America Braille Challenge Finals. Scores from across the nation will be compiled, and the top students in each category will be invited to compete in the national finals in Los Angeles on June 26-27, 2020. In 2019, two students who participated in the Ohio Regional Braille Challenge, MaKenzie Love and Philip Sotak, qualified to compete in the Braille Challenge national competition.

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