How do TVIs select the most appropriate category for their student(s)?

Competitive Contest Categories

This is for students reading braille at a first or second grade reading level.  Students who take the Apprentice/Uncontracted contest are considered “below grade level” and are NOT eligible for the Braille Challenge Finals. Apprentice is the ONLY category in which students can take an uncontracted contest. Students in higher grades can take the Apprentice/Uncontracted contest but will not be eligible for the Braille Challenge Finals. 

  • If your student needs Apprentice/Uncontracted, select the circles for "App", "Below Grade Level" and "Uncontracted".

  • Apprentice Contest tests Spelling, Reading Comprehension & Proofreading

Apprentice Grades 1-2 Uncontracted

This is for students reading braille at a first or second grade reading level. Students who take the Contracted Apprentice contest are eligible for the Finals if they place in the top 10 of all Apprentice contestants in the United States and Canada. 

  • If your student needs Apprentice/Contracted, and is in first or second grade, select the circles for "App", and "At Grade Level".

  • If your student needs Apprentice/Contracted and is in third grade or higher, select the circles for “App” and “Below Grade Level” and either “Contracted” or “Uncontracted”. 

  • Apprentice Contest tests Spelling, Reading Comprehension & Proofreading

Apprentice Grades 1-2 Contracted

This is for students reading braille at a third or fourth grade reading level. It is ONLY available in contracted braille. Students in grades three or four are eligible for the Finals. Student in higher grades can take the Freshman contest but will not be eligible for the National Braille Challenge Finals. 

  • If your student needs the Freshman contest, and is in third or fourth grade, select the circles for "Fresh", and "At Grade Level". Do not select any other circles. 

  • If your student needs the Freshman level contest and is in fifth grade or higher, select the circles for “Fresh” and “Below Grade Level”. Do not select any other circles. 

  • Freshman Contest tests Spelling, Reading Comprehension & Proofreading

Freshman

This is for students reading braille at a fifth or sixth grade reading level. It is ONLY available in contracted braille. Students in grades five or six are eligible for the Finals. Student in higher grades can take the Sophomore contest but will not be eligible for the National Braille Challenge Finals. 

  • If your student needs the Sophomore contest and is in fifth or sixth grade, select the circles for “Soph” and “At Grade Level”.  Do not select any other circles.  

  • If your student needs the Sophomore level contest and is in seventh grade or higher, select the circles for “Soph” and “Below Grade Level”.  Do not select any other circles.   

  • Sophomore Contest tests Reading Comprehension, Proofreading, Tactile Charts and Graphs, & Speed and Accuracy*. 

Sophomore

This is for students reading braille at a seventh, eighth or ninth grade reading level. It is ONLY available in contracted braille. Students in grades seven, eight and nine are eligible for the Finals. Student in higher grades can take the Junior Varsity contest but will not be eligible for the National Braille Challenge Finals. 

  • If your student needs the Junior Varsity contest and is in seventh, eighth, or ninth grade, select the circles for “JV” and “At Grade Level”.  Do not select any other circles.   

  • If your student needs the Junior Varsity level contest and is in tenth grade or higher, select the circles for “JV” and “Below Grade Level”.  Do not select any other circles.  

  • Junior Varsity Contest tests Reading Comprehension, Proofreading, Tactile Charts and Graphs, & Speed and Accuracy*. 

Junior Varsity

This is for students reading braille at a tenth, eleventh, twelfth grade reading level. It is ONLY available in contracted braille. Students in grades ten, eleven and twelve are eligible for the Finals. Student in higher grades (continuing education, transition, etc.) can take the Varsity contest but will not be eligible for the National Braille Challenge Finals. 

  • If your student needs the Varsity contest and is in tenth, eleventh, or twelfth grade, select the circles for “Varsity” and “At Grade Level”.  Do not select any other circles.    

  • If your student needs the Varsity level contest and has graduated and returned for continuing education, select the circles for “Varsity” and “Below Grade Level”.  Do not select any other circles.  

  • Varsity Contest tests Reading Comprehension, Proofreading, Tactile Charts and Graphs, & Speed and Accuracy*. 

Varsity

Florida Regional Only

This is a non-competitive category. This means students do not compete for first, second, or third place prizes.  It is intended for young children (Pre-K, K, 1st, 2nd) who are working on braille readiness skills. Activities and specialized materials will be created by FIMC-VI and teachers are responsible for implementing and adjusting the activities to meet the needs of their individual students. The Pre-Braille group will focus on a children’s book that will be provided to each Pre-Braille student in braille and consist of hands-on learning, tactile perception, reading, and writing activities. Older students learning braille can be registered for this category, but it is the responsibility of the TVI to adjust the content to make it more age appropriate. Students who participate in this category will be recognized at the Awards Ceremony with a Florida Braille Challenge certificate and educational game/toy. 

Pre-Braille

This is a secret category in Florida!  It is not a selection on the permission form because it is not a separate test. Older students who register for an Apprentice contest should not be competing against first and second graders, therefore, these students will be in the “Jon's Readers” category for competition purposes.  They will take the Apprentice (first/second grade reading level) Contracted or Uncontracted test. If an older student needs to take the Freshman level test, we will create a Freshman 2 category, so they are not competing against younger children but instead, peers closer to their age. FIMC-VI will create Jon's Readers, Freshman 2, etc. categories based on student registration. The dream of making sure all braille readers compete against their peers will be braille music to our ears! 

The Jon’s Readers group is named in honor of Florida’s longest-running Florida Braille Challenge contestant, Jon Miller, who competed in every event since its inception in 2008 until he graduated in 2021.  “Rookie” was not fitting of this group so it was re-named “Jon’s Readers” who exemplify “BRAILLE” every day: Bravery, Resiliency, Attitude, Inspiration, Leadership, Love of Braille, Everything. 
 

  • If your student needs to take a reading contest below their school grade level (for example, a seventh-grade student taking an Apprentice level contest), select the circles for: 

    • the braille reading level contest that is needed (App, Fresh, Soph, etc.) 

    • “Contracted” or “Uncontracted” only if the contest level is Apprentice

    • “Below Grade Level”

Jon's Readers

*Contestants taking the Speed and Accuracy test must use a Book Port Plus or VictorReader Stream.  FIMC-VI has a limited number of devices that can be loaned to a TVI for Florida Braille Challenge practice and testing.  Students should practice with one of these devices well before the contest or they will experience frustration on testing day!  See the “Digital Player Guidelines” for basics on each device.   

Student Permission Form

Deadline: December 15

This is a non-competitive category. This means students do not compete for first, second, or third place prizes.  It is intended for braille readers of all ages who are working on braille readiness skills, functional braille, or beginning braille. Activities and specialized materials will be created by FIMC-VI and teachers are responsible for implementing and adjusting the activities to meet the needs of their individual students.  Leo’s Readers activities will focus on a children’s book that will be provided to each student in braille and will include hands-on learning, tactile perception, reading, and writing.  Students who participate in this category will be recognized at the Award Ceremony with a Florida Braille Challenge certificate and educational game/toy. The Leo’s Readers group is named in memory of an East Florida Regional participant who exhibited a love and passion for braille and inspired teachers to create a regional group to better meet the needs of other braille readers like him to be able to fully participate in the event.

Leo's Readers (East Florida only)