Students compete in annual Braille Challenge

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - Blind students put their braille skills to the test at the annual Braille Challenge on Thursday.

The competition, held at the Louisiana School for the Visually Impaired (LSVI), tests speed, accuracy, and reading comprehension. It also tests students' ability to comprehend graphs and complete mathematical problems.

Braille is a written language for blind people. They feel small bumps on the sheet of paper, which form symbols that represent letters and numbers.

"Having braille and having excellent braille skills are a must for a person who is blind," said Leslie Bello, director of LSVI. "So being so good at it that you get to compete, it's really special. It's really important."

Bello says senior, Chloe Ashford from Denham Springs, competed in the challenge. Ashford says the speed and accuracy competition is her favorite. She says she's extremely satisfied after completing it.

"You know that your work is good and legible and represents your school and yourself. It is just very rewarding," Ashford said.

Bello says Ashford has earned over $80,000 in scholarship money and she'll be attending Northwestern University's Honors College once she completes high school. Ashford says she is going to study philosophy, economics, and politics.

She wants to become a lawyer.

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