Competition and puppies at the 2019 Braille Challenge in Seattle

Competition and puppies at the 2019 Braille Challenge in Seattle

On Saturday, Jan. 12, the Washington Talking Book & Braille Library — a program of the Washington State Library, which is a division of the Office of Secretary of State — hosted a fantastic celebration of braille literacy: the annual Regional Braille Challenge.

Braille Challenge participants
Braille Challenge participants

Students came from across Western Washington to compete in five categories, ranging from spelling to reading tactile charts & graphs. The Braille Challenge is organized by the Braille Institute, and Washington’s winning students became eligible for a chance to compete in the National Championship in California this June.

Congratulations to Eli, Janhavi, and Kaydan for winning 1st, 2nd, and 3rd Prizes, respectively, at the Regional level!

Guide Dogs for the Blind presentation
Guide Dogs for the Blind presentation

Some special guests arrived at the event for a presentation and meet-and-greet with Guide Dogs for the Blind, whose representative Jake Koch gave an informative talk. He also invited local Guide Dog Puppy Raisers to the event for students and guests to play and help socialize the little working dogs. More than 50 people attended this portion of the event, and the participants met some adorable pups with very important jobs!

The Regional Braille Challenge was sponsored by the Washington Council of the Blind, which donated prizes, pizza, and t-shirts. Volunteers from all over Washington came to help score and proctor the tests throughout the day.

WTBBL is looking forward to hosting a second Regional Braille Challenge in 2019, which will take place in Spokane on February 23. The registration deadline is Jan. 23 for this event, so if you are interested, please contact Erin Groth at erin.groth@sos.wa.gov today.

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