Anaheim girl competes in national Braille Challenge – Orange County Register

For Dorothy Cho, it’s the experience that matters.

The 12-year-old Braille Institute student, who just finished sixth grade, was one of 10 students nationwide in her division to compete in the National Braille Challenge on Saturday, June 17 at USC.

“I’ll come back again and better next year,” said Cho, whose family lives in Anaheim.

The annual event brings together the top 50 blind and visually impaired students nationwide and two provinces in Canada to compete in reading and writing contests in braille. More than 1,200 students – from first grade to high school seniors – compete in regional competitions, held in January, to qualify for the national event.

There are five divisions of 10 to 12 students, who compete in five categories: reading comprehension, braille spelling, chart and graph reading, proofreading and braille speed and accuracy.

“This began as an awareness building campaign of how important literacy is for the blind and visually impaired and it has grown,” said Peter Mindnich, president of the Braille Institute. Mindnich said the goal of the challenge is to encourage blind and visually impaired students to finish high school and graduate from college. Only 40 percent of blind students finish high school, he said.

“The reason why we’re at USC is because we want these kids to imagine the possibilities,” he said.

Cho was born with a genetic disease that left her visually impaired. She began competing in regional…

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