A young Braille Challenge participant loads her brailler with paper.

Save the Date – Braille Challenge 2015 is Saturday, February 28

Young girl typing on a Perkins Brailler during last year’s Braille ChallengeJoin the more than 1000 students who participated last year in the 2015 Northern California Braille Challenge. This year it will be held at Santa Clara Valley Blind Center in San Jose.

Youth from Northern California in grades 1 through 12 are invited to compete in a series of five skills contests demonstrating braille reading and comprehension, speed and accuracy, spelling, proofreading, and tactile graphics. Everyone who competes is recognized.

Northern California Braille Challenge
A National Program of Braille Institute
Hosted by: Vista Center for the Blind and Visually Impaired in collaboration with LightHouse for the Blind and Visually Impaired, California School for the Blind and Braille Institute of America

When: Saturday, February 28, 8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Where: Santa Clara Valley Blind Center, 101 North Bascom Avenue, San Jose, CA 95128
For more information or to register, contact Vista Center’s Alice McGrath at
amcgrath@vistacenter.org or 650-858-0202 x130.

Volunteers Needed: Teachers for the Visually Impaired, Transcribers and braillists are needed to serve as Proctors and Scorers for this exciting event. Please contact Alice McGrath.


  • The Braille Institute Auxiliary
  • Humanware – Victor Stream players
  • Seedlings Braille Books for Children – gift certificates for a book or t-shirt from their catalog
  • Santa Clara Valley Blind Center – venue host

Unified English Braille (UEB) Option to be Offered for Grades 1and 2

Since both the United States and Canada have now adopted Unified English Braille (UEB) as their official code, the Braille Challenge will be offering a UEB option for the Apprentice level only in 2015.

This means students in grades 1 and 2 will have the option to choose this year. They may take all three contests in EBAE (the current English Braille American Edition) or in the new UEB code, but may not mix the two. Eligibility for Finals will not be affected. Students who earn the top scores, regardless of code selection, will advance to the Finals. An uncontracted option will be available for both codes.

To learn more about UEB, and to find tutorials and sample documents, please visit the Braille Authority of North America (BANA) website. Additionally, there is a new APH Quick Tip video regarding the American Printing House for the Blind’s implementation plans for providing k-12 tests and textbooks UEB.