National Federation of the Blind Braille Readers Are Leaders Contest
The Braille Readers Are Leaders Contest is a national contest for students who read
Braille, kindergarten through twelfth grades, and all adult Braille readers. The
purpose of the program is to promote the joy of reading for pleasure, to promote
a pride in Braille as a viable literacy medium equal to print, and to demonstrate
the importance of independent reading in the development of Braille literacy skills.
We have added a number of new elements to the competition this year.
- Along with a contest for children grades K-12 there is a contest for adults this
year. Adults with various levels of experience reading Braille have the chance to
join in the fun! The adult competition will very closely parallel the traditional
student competition with all of this year’s additions (for more information see
- Participants now have the opportunity to form teams to compete for a special award.
Teams may have as many as five and as few as two members. Members of a team do not
need to reside in the same state. Teams should work together to read as many pages
as they can and to show their love of Braille through team spirit!
- The Leader Board is another addition to this year’s competition. Throughout the
contest participants may compete for a spot on the Leader Board by updating their
reading log electronically. Contestants may update their reading log as often as
they desire. At four secret dates during the contest the reading log data will be
pulled. The top three contestants in each category according to the electronic data
will be put on the Leader Board. Contestants whose names appear on the Leader Board
during the contest will receive a special prize. NOTE: Contestants who update their
reading log electronically throughout the contest should keep a copy of their reading
log for their personal records as a cumulative log must be submitted at the conclusion
of the contest.
- Contestants who submit ALL of their paperwork electronically will be entered into
a drawing for an additional prize. To qualify participants must submit all of the
following electronically: contest registration, registration for any special awards,
and contest entry form (reading log).
- Because we have added so many new elements this year, please be sure to read the
contest rules for the K-12 Contest and the Adult Contest.
Schools for the Blind Recognition
Residential or day schools for the blind that enroll a significant percentage of
their students in the contest and in other ways promote Braille literacy and the
Braille Readers Are Leaders program during the contest period receive a special
certificate suitable for framing and public display.
Not old enough for the Braille Readers Are Leaders Contest?
Braille Reading Pals - Early Literacy Program
Braille Reading Pals is an early literacy program that gently encourages and rewards
parents for reading daily with their blind or low vision children ages 0-7 (or older
if the children have developmental delays) who are not yet reading. Sponsored by
the Jernigan Institute, this free two-month program begins November 1 and concludes
December 31. Click the following link to obtain registration forms and for more
information about the program: Braille Reading Pals Overview and Registration.
There are five categories in the regular competition:
- Beginner: read uncontracted Braille only or read contracted Braille at a
rate of 80 or fewer words per minute (wpm)
- Intermediate: read contracted Braille at a rate of 80-160 wpm
- Advanced: read contracted Braille at a rate of 160-220 wpm
- Expert: read over 220 wpm
- Parent/Teacher: sighted parents and teachers of the blind qualify for the
How to determine your reading speed
To determine your reading speed pick a Braille passage and read over it once casually.
Set a timer for one minute. Start the timer and begin to read. When the timer sounds
mark your spot. Go back and count how many words you read. Any word in the English
language counts as a “word” in this test. So, the word “a” counts as one and the
word “knowledge” counts as one even though it is only one character in contracted
Braille. So, if you read the sentence, “Sally and Bob are coming home from a long
trip,” you read ten words. Repeat this one minute test three times with the same
passage. Add your scores up and divide by three to get your average. Use this number
to determine which category is appropriate for you.
Team of the Year Award
This award is given to the team who demonstrates the best combination of the following:
number of pages read, team spirit and incorporation of readers at all levels. A
team may consist of as many as 5 and as few as 2 participants. Please see the form
below to join this competition!