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Dreamwork Makes the Team Work at the

2021 Florida Regional Braille Challenge

Our dream is to recognize and celebrate Florida’s braille readers during FIMC-VI’s Florida Braille Challenge season just as we have been doing since 2008. Dreams can come true but often need the support of a dedicated, energetic, and hard-working TEAM. The 2021 Florida Braille Challenge dream will make our team work!!

The deadline for student permission forms for all dates is January 13 so that FIMC-VI can order enough contests, student t-shirts, goody bags, activity materials, etc. Permission forms can be submitted electronically this year!! They can still be printed and scanned, mailed, or faxed.

A family and guest event is planned via Zoom on March 6 to recognize Florida's young braille readers and celebrate braille. This event includes fun, educational activities and guest speakers for contestants, families and their guests as well as a final Award Ceremony. Register online for this virtual event by February 6.

How will the virtual Florida Regional Braille Challenge work?

  • A student’s teacher of students with visual impairments (TVI) will be responsible for proctoring the contest this year. Not all TVIs are available to proctor, so please only register a student if the TVI has agreed to proctor.

  • A Proctor Training will be held via Zoom on January 13 from 2:00-4:00pm and will be recorded. If a TVI cannot attend the live training, the recording can be watched at a later date. TVIs MUST attend or watch the Proctor Training in order to administer the contest. A separate training will be held for the non-competitive Pre-Braille category.

  • Four contest dates are available. These are the only dates the contest can be administered, including the non-competitive “Pre-Braille” group. Select the contest date on the permission form in which your student will participate. All sections of the contest must be completed in the same day. If your student is absent the day of the selected date, the TVI may administer it on a subsequent testing date after notifying FIMC-VI and making alternate arrangements.

  • Contest materials and contestant goody bag will be sent directly to the TVI several days before the selected contest date. TVIs will determine with each student’s family if the contest will be administered in a face-to-face setting at school or virtually. Support will be available from FIMC-VI on each contest date for TVIs who are proctoring.

  • The TVI proctoring is responsible for returning the contest materials and student answer sheets to FIMC-VI within 48 hours of proctoring the contest. Pre-labeled and pre-paid postage and packaging will be provided for TVIs to send materials back to FIMC-VI. It is important for materials to be returned within 48 hours to maintain testing security and for FIMC-VI to score contests.

What About the Fun Stuff?

  • A family and guest event will be held via Zoom on March 6.  Students, parents, guardians, siblings, TVIs, O&M instructors, teachers, paraprofessionals, and guests of students are invited to attend.  The event will include fun, educational, hands-on activities, guest speakers, a break for lunch, a virtual drum circle with Giving Tree Music, and an Award Ceremony.  Certificates and prizes will be mailed ahead of time so students can receive their accolades during the Award Ceremony. Do not open until the time comes! 

 

  • Activities and guest speakers will be geared towards various age levels.  Guests can register for all activities/speakers and adjust instructions as needed or just register for the sessions that would be most appropriate.  Families and guests can register for just the Award Ceremony if preferred.

  • A box of activity supplies and surprises will be mailed to families who register by the Family Event deadline of February 6.

The BRAILLE CHALLENGE is a national program of the Braille Institute® hosted by regional schools and agencies that serve blind and visually impaired children. It is the only national braille literacy competition of its kind in the country, and is specifically designed to challenge and reward blind students for their study of braille, which is essential to their future academic and employment success.  Regional students who score among the top 50 nationally are invited to Braille Institute in Los Angeles for a final competition!

Deadline: January 13

How can I help my student(s) prepare for the Florida Regional Braille Challenge competition? 

  • Braille Institute can help!  They have several years of past contests available to download for students to practice.  Braille and print files are included so you don’t have to transcribe anything.  You will need an embosser.  TVIs can browse the old contests to help decide which grade level is most appropriate for your student.  Go to https://brailleinstitute.org/braille-challenge/sample-contests to view and download practice contests. 

 

  • For students taking the Sophomore, Junior Varsity, or Varsity contest, make sure they know how to use a digital player (Book Port Plus or VictorReader Stream) and practice, practice, practice!  They should be able to start/stop, rewind/fast forward, adjust volume, adjust speed, plug into a power source, charge device to full power for testing day. 

  • Practice with Braille Institute’s iBraille Challenge App!  All the information you need to get started is at https://brailleinstitute.org/ibraille-challenge-app. The app is only available on the App Store for iPad.  (It is currently being updated, but check back.)

Four contest dates to choose from:

  • January 29

  • February 5

  • February 11

  • February 18

Student-family event March 6 via Zoom.