Education, Events

Student from Perry Hall to compete in National Braille Challenge

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BALTIMORE, MD—Sujan Dhakal of Perry Hall has been selected as a finalist for the 2022 Braille Challenge by the Braille Institute. An 11th grader at Eastern Technical High School, Dhakal will compete at the national finals on June 24 and 25 at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles.

Celebrating more than 100 years of eliminating barriers for the visually impaired, Braille Institute developed the Braille Challenge in 2000 to motivate students to practice and hone their braille literacy skills, which are essential to academic and employment success. The Braille Challenge is the only academic competition of its kind in North America and the U.K. for students who are blind or visually impaired. It was designed to motivate students who are blind or visually impaired to emphasize their study of braille while rewarding their success with fun-filled, challenging local and national events.

More than 800 students in Grades 1 – 12 competed in preliminary regional events throughout the U.S., Canada and the U.K. earlier this year. However, only the top 10 scoring students from each of five competitive categories (reading comprehension, braille spelling, chart and graph reading, proofreading, and braille speed and accuracy) are invited to Los Angeles for the final round, which consists of two days of competition, camaraderie and fun.

Dhakal competed in the 2022 Maryland Braille Challenge on February 5 and placed first in the Varsity division. The regional event is hosted annually by the Maryland School for the Blind (MSB) and the Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE). Dhakal, who participates in outreach programs at MSB, has qualified for the national competition six times.

“The National Braille Challenge is a culmination of the efforts of students like Sujan, their families and their teachers. Braille literacy and high expectations take flight and allow these students to work toward reaching their maximum potential. We are so proud of every participant in the Braille Challenge, regardless of their level of competition,” said Jackie Otwell, Maryland Braille Challenge Coordinator and emcee for this year’s national award ceremony.

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