Braille It On – Bring your skills to the MD Braille Challenge

The Maryland Regional Braille Challenge is an annual event usually held at the end of January or the beginning of February at Maryland School for the Blind and this year we had a student place 1st at the national competition!

Challenge participants pose for a group photo

What is the Braille Challenge you ask?  To start, it’s a program of the Braille Institute. Check out their description – “The Braille Challenge® is an academic competition unlike any other. This two-stage contest is designed to motivate blind students to emphasize their study of braille, while rewarding their success with fun-filled, but challenging, local and national events. Any visually impaired student who reads braille is eligible to participate in the preliminary Challenge contest events, which were held from January through the end of March throughout the U.S. and Canada. Contests are proctored by volunteer teachers for visually impaired students and scored locally according to our national guidelines by volunteer transcribers. Each contestant receives a brailled certificate of appreciation and general feedback on their performance, which will be sent to families and educators in May.”

At the Maryland Braille Challenge parents attend workshops that can range in a variety of topics while students are testing. The 2018 Braille Challenge will focus on workshops for family members regarding the integration of Braille to complete daily living skills. After the challenge students participate in a variety of fun activities which in the past have included face painting, making Braille jewelry, and interacting with a professional balloon artist. There is also an opportunity to meet with vendors, the MSB Bee, and take advantage of a braille book exchange. Each student who participated in the 2017 Challenge received prizes and a medal that had the words “Maryland Braille Challenge” in Braille.

The 2017 Maryland Regional Braille Challenge also started a new program for those students who are just learning Braille and are elementary aged. It’s a non-competitive program for students to practice their Braille skills by participating in a variety of fun activities. This program will return for 2018.

Come be a part of the Braille Challenge community! It’s an exciting day of networking, hard work and fun! We hope to see you at the 2018 Maryland Regional Braille Challenge. Please contact Jackie Otwell with any questions you may have.


To learn more about the Braille Challenge check out the link:

Participants talk with Tim: MSB’s adaptive gym teacher.

Superintendent Rob Hair presents prizes and medals.

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