Murphree qualifies for Braille Challenge finals

GRAND BLANC — Grand Blanc junior Sarah Murphree has advanced to the final round of the Braille Challenge, the world’s only international Braille reading and writing competition for students who are visually impaired.

Murphree, 15, is one of 50 students from across the country who are blind or visually impaired and who were selected to participate in the elite competition that tests and promotes braille literacy.

These competitors achieved the highest scores in the braille literacy testing competition, out of more than 1,000 youth across the U.S. and Canada.

Finalists are placed into five categories based on their age (Apprentice, Freshman, Sophomore, Junior Varsity and Varsity). The top 10 best scores in each category qualify for finals from the regional competitions that took place all around North America earlier in 2021.

Finals are traditionally held in Los Angeles on the campus of the University of Southern California. However, this year’s finals testing, and surrounding events will be conducted remotely, with finalists testing in their hometowns and the closing award ceremony held via live stream.

Closing ceremonies are set for July 30 and will be live streamed on Braille Institute’s YouTube Channel: https:// www.youtube.com/user/BrailleInstitute.

Closing ceremonies will include the announcement of the winners, guest speakers, and other entertainment, including a keynote speech from Dr. Craig Meador, president of American Printing House for the Blind. The week leading up will include workshops conducted by key organizations and companies in the visual impairment and assistive technology fields.

The Braille Challenge is the only academic competition of its kind in North America for students who are blind or visually impaired. It motivates students grades 1-12 to hone and practice their braille literacy skills. Competitors are tested on fundamental braille skills such as reading comprehension, spelling, speed and accuracy, proofreading, and charts and graphs.

“Everyone in our Braille Challenge family has stepped up with hard work and ingenuity during the pandemic to pivot the delivery of the program and keep spreading the importance of braille literacy around the world. We can’t wait to experience another Braille Challenge Finals with all of our Braille Challenge family this Summer,” said Sergio Oliva, Vice President, Programs and Services, Braille Institute.

Visit www.brailleinstitute.org/ braille-challenge for more information and announcements. — L.R.