Watch CBS News

Maryland Students Use Braille Skills To Compete For Awards

BALTIMORE (WJZ) -- Two Perry Hall students, a Bowie student, and a Woodbridge student beat out competitors from across Maryland to win the 13th annual Maryland Regional Braille Challenge on Saturday.

Sujan Dhakal of Perry Hall, Naomi Jean Mills of Woodbridge, Eniola Osunkoya of Perry Hall, and Henry Tucker of Bowie won awards for their performance in the event, which was hosted by the Maryland School for the Blind and the Maryland State Department of Education, according to Dotty Raynor, a spokesperson The Maryland School for the Blind.

And Elizabeth Ricobonno of Baltimore was named "most improved participant," Raynor said in a statement.

The braille challenge—the only academic competition for blind students in the United States and Canada—was held virtually in 2022 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Its winners recently announced, she said.

During the event, participants between the ages of four and 19 competed in five categories that required them to read and type braille, Raynor said.

Each category was designed to test their braille skills in several areas: reading comprehension, braille spelling, chart and graph reading, proofreading and braille speed and accuracy, she said.

Contestants were grouped into six levels, according to age.

Students have undergone preliminary testing across the country from January through March in hopes of qualifying for one of the top 50 spots available in the national competition and the opportunity to compete against other blind students from across the United States and Canada in June, according to Raynor.

The national qualifiers will be announced at a later date, she said.

Additional awards were provided to Jeremiah Mude of Nanticoke and Mindy Demaris of Wicomico County.

Nanticoke was the recipient of the 4th annual Sidney Iubelt Memorial Spirit Award. While Demaris was nominated for the Braille Institute's 2022 Teacher of the Year in Excellence in Braille Instruction Award, Raynor said.

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.