ISVI Braille Challenge

On Thursday, February 20, 2014, ISVI once again hosted a regional Braille Challenge on the ISVI campus. Last year, 19 students from around the state of Illinois competed. The Braille Challenge® is the only national academic competition for blind students in the United States and is a national program of Braille Institute of America.

The Illinois School for the Visually Impaired regional is the first step on the road to the national competition, which will be held in June at the Braille Institute’s headquarters in Los Angeles. Students from across the nation are completing preliminary testing in hopes of qualifying for the 60 spots available in the national competition. The top scorers in the preliminary round will advance to the Finals and get the opportunity to compete against the top blind students from across the United States and Canada.

Students in grades 1 through 12 will compete in reading comprehension, Braille speed and accuracy, proofreading, spelling and reading tactile charts and graphs.


  • Apprentice—1st and 2nd grades
  • Freshman—3rd and 4th grades
  • Sophomore—5th and 6th grades
  • Junior Varsity—7th, 8th and 9th grades
  • Varsity—10th, 11th and 12th grades

This year we had 24 students competing. 12 were ISVI students and 12 were off-campus students. Winners of the Braille Challenge at ISVI on Feb. 20th were Daniel Bein from Fisher, IL (Apprentice Division), Cody Boys from ISVI (Freshman Division), Sela Cornell from Wilmette, IL (Sophomore Division), Darren Garland from ISVI (Jr. Varsity Division), and Breanna Carpentier from ISVI (Varsity Division).

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Kyla Hurt is a capable boondoggler trained in the arts; she’s also an accomplished event coordinator with experience from museum fundraising to art festivals. She enjoys puppies, sunshine, and good radishes – and wit. Wit is good, too.

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