Future Reflections  Fall 2006

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Braille Readers Are Leaders 2006-2007
24th Annual Contest for Blind Youth

Sponsored by
National Association to Promote the Use of Braille
National Organization of Parents of Blind Children
National Federation of the Blind

[email protected]


Dates for the contest: November 1, 2006 - February 1, 2007

Purpose: The mission of the Braille Readers Are Leaders Contest is to motivate children to read Braille regularly and frequently because:

Who can enter: Blind or visually impaired Braille readers from kindergarten through the twelfth grade in the U.S.A. and Canada are eligible to enter the contest.

How can my student or child enter? Submit an entry form electronically or in print (see enclosed) at the conclusion of the contest. Preregistration is not required. For details about submitting an entry form electronically, contact us at [email protected] or call (410) 659-9314, extension 2361.

Categories: There are six categories: grades K-1, 2-3, 4-5, 6-8, 9-12, and Print-to-Braille. The Print-to-Braille category is for former or current print readers who have just begun to read Braille independently. This includes formerly sighted children who became blind after mastering print or partially sighted print readers who are learning Braille while they continue to read some print. Children who began to learn to read Braille at the same time as sighted peers typically learn to read print (kindergarten or first grade) are not eligible for this category.

Competition, Awards, & Prizes: All contestants receive a certificate and a ribbon in recognition of their participation. Other awards and prizes include:

What is so important about the Braille Leaders Community Service Award? This award most closely reflects the ultimate mission of the contest. Braille literacy enhances the ability of blind children to participate fully in the communities in which they live. Furthermore, they may participate as leaders. We really mean it when we say, “Braille readers are LEADERS.” An important characteristic of leaders is that they serve others. Good Braille skills allow blind children of all ages to demonstrate leadership through serving others. A first grader can practice her new reading skills by reading a book to her baby brother. A blind teen can take notes for his 4-H Club or read to lonely residents at a community nursing home. The opportunities for service--if you are literate--are endless. Our goal is not to teach kids how to read Braille so they will have something to fill up an otherwise empty and meaningless existence. Our goal is help all blind kids achieve a full, active life made even richer and fuller through literacy.

Rules for the Contest: All materials for the contest must be read between November 1 and February 1 of the following year (three months). See the “Questions and Answers--Rules of the Contest” section for more details.

Certifying Authority: The certifying authority is responsible for: (1) verifying that the student read the Braille material listed and that the material was read between November 1 and February 1; (2) completing and submitting the print or electronic contest entry form in an accurate and timely fashion; and (3) assisting the student in finding suitable extracurricular Braille books and other materials to read for the contest. Teachers, librarians, and parents may serve as certifying authorities.

Interviews: The contestant, certifying authority, and/or parent may be contacted for an interview if the contest judges have questions or need additional information about an entry. Judges may, based upon the information available to them, adjust the number of pages or disqualify a contestant. All decisions of the judges are final.

Notification: Certificates, ribbons, and a winners’ list will be mailed to contestants on or about May 1. T-shirts and cash prizes will be mailed as soon as practical.

For More Information: Barbara Cheadle, President, National Organization of Parents of Blind Children, 1800 Johnson Street, Baltimore, Maryland 21230, (410) 659-9314, extension 2360; [email protected] See also www.nfb.org/nfb/NOPBC_Braille_Readers_Are_Leaders.asp

Questions and Answers--Rules of the Contest

1. When do I mail in the contest entry form and reading log? We suggest that it be mailed by February 15. Delayed or incomplete entries may cause the contestant to forfeit the right to compete for top prizes. This year, the entry form may also be submitted electronically. Contact us at (410) 659-9314, extension 2361, or by email at [email protected] for details.

2. What if I didn’t know about the contest until after it began? Can I still enter? YES.

3. If I enter late, can I still count the Braille pages I have read since November 1? YES, but only if your certifying authority can verify that you read those pages.

4. What constitutes a Braille page? Each side of an embossed piece of paper is considered one page. If you read both sides, then you have read two pages. This is true even if there are only two Braille lines on one side.

5. Can I count Braille textbooks or other materials (encyclopedia articles, transcribed worksheets, etc.) that I am required to read for schoolwork? NO.

6. Can I count books that I read for the Accelerated Reading Program? YES.

7. Can supplemental reading books to beginning reading series be counted for the contest? YES.

8. Can I count title pages, tables of content, Brailled descriptions of illustrations, etc.? YES.

9. What if I don’t finish reading a book? Can I count the pages that I did read? YES.

10. Can I read the same book more than once? YES, but only under the following conditions: the student must be at an elementary (5th grade or below) reading level; no book may be read more than three times; and the certifying authority must list or otherwise clearly identify which titles have been read more than once, how many times read (two or three), and indicate the number of Braille pages read at each setting. Example: Frog and Toad 3x20 pages = 60 pages.

11. Can I read the dictionary? NO. A Braille Menu? YES, but you must list the title of the restaurant menu and, again, only whole pages count. Example: “Legal Sea Foods Menu” 2 pages. Cookbooks? YES, same rule applies--the student must read whole pages and must give the complete title of the book just as you would any other book listed. How about the Bible or other religious books? YES, of course. However, you must give a reference to the book(s) of the Bible you read (i.e. Proverbs, Matthew, etc.) AND you must read whole pages. Please do not give chapters and verses read. Acceptable--Bible, Book of Job: 20 pages. Not acceptable--Psalms 8, 24, and 32.

12. I have to transcribe books for my beginning reader. Most of these books have only a few words on a page. If the print book has more pages than my Braille transcription, how do I count pages for the contest? For the purposes of this contest, the number of Braille pages counted per children’s picture book should never be less than the number of print pages in that book. This is so even if the teacher has transcribed the entire book onto one Braille page. To avoid confusion, we suggest that the books be transcribed page for page, one Braille page for each print page, whenever possible.

13. My student reads a lot of electronic books with a refreshable Braille display. Are these eligible? MAYBE. If so, how do we count Braille pages? Formatted files with a .brf extension--for example, files from Bookshare.org and NLS Web Braille--will have Braille page numbers in the file. These are acceptable. If you wish to use other scanned or non-.brg formatted files for the contest, you must contact the contest officials in advance for guidance and approval in how to determine the Braille page count.

14. What if I want to Braille other material for my student to read, such as recipes or instructions from a manual? Can we count these? MAYBE, MAYBE NOT. The judges must have enough information to satisfy any questions or concerns they may have. For example: not acceptable--“chicken recipe,” 1 page; acceptable--Maryland Driver’s Test Manual, 2005 edition, published by the Maryland Department of Transportation, print pages 1-5: 12 Braille pages.

15. I have trouble finding enough Braille material for my older students. Do you have any suggestions? YES. The National Federation of the Blind has free Braille materials suitable for blind youth, including recent issues of the Braille Monitor magazine. To request a literature list (large print or Braille) contact: National Federation of the Blind, Independence Market, 1800 Johnson Street, Baltimore, Maryland 21230; (410) 659-9314, extension 2216; [email protected]

16. Is this entry form available on the Web site so that I can print out more copies? YES. www.nfb.org/nfb/NOPBC_Braille_Readers_Are_Leaders.asp


Braille Readers Are Leaders Contest 2006-2007

November 1, 2006, to February 1, 2007
Submit entry form after February 1, 2007, by mail, fax, or online.
Mail: Braille Readers Are Leaders, 1800 Johnson Street, Baltimore, Maryland 21230.
Fax: (410) 659-5129. Online: www.nfb.org/nfb/NOPBC_Braille_Readers_Are_Leaders.asp

Grand total of pages read

Name _______________________________________________________________
Birth Date ________________
Grade (please circle your selection) K 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 un-graded
Parent(s) Name ________________________________________________________
Home Address _________________________________________________________
City State Zip _________________________________________________________
Please list at least one phone number or an email address:
Phone (H)________________ (C ) _______________ (W) _____________________
Email _____________________________________________

Name _________________________________________________________________
the following is my [ ] home address [ ] work address
Address _______________________________________________________________
City State Zip ___________________________________________________________
It is best to contact me by: Email ___________________________________________
Phone ___________________________________ Best times to call _______________
Position: [ ] Parent [ ] Teacher [ ] Librarian [ ] Other

Please send certificate, ribbon, and other awards or prizes to (CHECK ONE):
[ ] STUDENT at home address or [ ] CERTIFYING AUTHORITY

[ ] YES [ ] NO This student is a dual print-Braille or a former print reader and the student started learning Braille after first grade. If “yes,” then please list the approximate date or grade in which the student began to learn Braille and use Braille. Please add any comments that will help the judges determine if this student qualifies for the print-to-Braille category.

Began to learn Braille: _______________________
Began to use Braille for reading: _________________
Comments _____________________________________________________________

This student attends:
[ ] public school [ ] private school [ ] a specialized school for the blind [ ] homeschool

SCHOOL NAME ___________________________________________
City State ________________________________________________
Superintendent/Principal ________________________________________

If the contestant is a winner, what T-shirt size is required? (Circle one)
Children: CM (10-12) CL (14-16) Adult: AM (38-40) AL (42-44) AXL (46+)

OPTIONAL COMMENTS: We would particularly like to know about additional disabilities or unique challenges which have impacted this student’s study of Braille. We are constantly looking for ways to improve the contest or add new programs to encourage Braille literacy. This information will help us in this endeavor.


Braille Readers Are Leaders Contest 2006-2007

Name of student ____________________________________ State _________

Date __________ Braille pages ____________
Title of book, article, other material _____________________________________

Date __________ Braille pages ____________
Title of book, article, other material _____________________________________

Date __________ Braille pages ____________
Title of book, article, other material _____________________________________

Date __________ Braille pages ____________
Title of book, article, other material _____________________________________

Subtotal this page _______________

To the best of my knowledge this student did read these pages between the dates of November 1, 2006, and February 1, 2007.

Please print name here _______________________________________
Signature of Certifying Authority _______________________________
Date ____________________

Please make duplicates of this page as needed, or print out copies from the NFB Web site at:


Braille Leaders Community Service Awards

Attach this form to your contest entry form, enclose the letter(s) of nomination, and mail or fax to: Braille Readers Are Leaders, 1800 Johnson Street, Baltimore, Maryland 21230; Fax (410) 659-5129.

For information about how to submit your entry electronically, please contact us at [email protected] or call (410) 659-9314, extension 2361.

Students in grades 6-12 who wish to compete for this award must provide the following information as soon as possible after February 1, 2007:

The nomination letter(s) should be no more than three typed pages, single-spaced, and should contain a detailed description of the community service performed by the student, the date or dates of the service performed, how the student demonstrated leadership skills through this service project, and how Braille skills were employed or useful to the student in the performance of the service. It must also contain the name, address, phone number, and/or email address of the person writing the letter. The relationship between the person writing the letter and the student can be given in the letter or described in the form below. Parents and teachers of the visually impaired may submit letters of nomination, but stronger weight and consideration will be given to letters from others in the community who know about, or benefited from, the student’s service.

(Note: We understand that it may take a few weeks to assemble the information. However, the judges may refuse to consider nomination letters received after March 1, 2007.)

Name of student __________________________ Grade ____________ State ___________
Number of Braille pages read ______________
Date(s) of community service ___________________________________________________
Number of letters of nomination enclosed (only one is required)
Comments or other information you would like to share ______________________________

Name and title of person filling out this form (please print) _____________________________
Signature _________________________________________
Date ___________
Contact information: Phone _________________________________

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