SALT LAKE CITY – Forty students who are blind or visually impaired competed Friday in the Utah Regional Braille Challenge.
The competition, hosted by the Utah Foundation for the Blind and in its 12th year, gives students ages 6 to 19 a way to fine tune their Braille skills in reading comprehension, spelling, charts and graphs, proofreading and speed and accuracy.
Many who participated are the only students in their school who are blind or visually impaired, and they said the competition gives them the chance to interact with other students who understand the obstacles they face.
“A lot of the time it's by yourself, and you don’t get to know what it's like for other people,” said Aidia Estes.
Garrison Clark also said he enjoyed the opportunity to connect with peers.
“All of us friends hanging out, and we sit at a table and practice Braille together and it's just a good experience to hang out,” he said.
Event organizers said only about 20 percent of students who are blind in the U.S. can read Braille. Winners of the local competition will advance to a national competition scheduled for June. The competition is sponsored by the Braille Institute.