Nationwide BRAL Contest

THE NEW  Nationwide BRAL Contest IS HERE!

The National Federation of the Blind of Illinois (NFBI), in partnership with the National Association to Promote the Use of Braille (NAPUB), now offers its first annual nation-wide Braille Readers Are Leaders contest open to kids in all states, grades K-12. Contestants compete to read the most Braille pages, going against other kids in similar grades across all participating states. The contest runs for six weeks, encouraging kids to be proud of their Braille reading ability and to work to improve their skills — while possibly winning prizes in the process.

All blind or visually impaired children in a participating state are eligible to enter the contest. However, an NFB affiliate in a state needs to submit an entrance fee to the NFBI to become a participating state. Those desiring to register their child for the Nationwide BRAL Contest need to be sure their state is a participating state. Contact your state affiliate president or the contest administrator as described below if you have questions.

A thumbnail sketch of the contest:

  • For each student who enters, a certifying official (parent, teacher, etc.) must fill out and submit a registration form. This can be done as early as November 15 2017 and as late as February 1 2018.
  • Kids enter in one of five grade categories: K-1, 2-3, 4-5, 6-8, & 9-12.
  • Participants record Braille pages read between December 15 2017 and February 1 2018 on a reading log.
  • The certifying official must submit the completed reading log form by February 10 2018.
  • Prizes in each grade category are: first, $25; second, $15; third, $10.
  • Every contestant, whether a winner or not, will receive a “goodie bag” of Braille-related items at the end of the contest.
  • See below to get the complete contest rules, registration form, and the reading log form.
  • Both the registration form and the reading log form can be submitted by email as attachments to Deborah Stein at Please put Nationwide BRAL in the subject line.

In addition to awards in the five grade categories, the Kelly Doty Award is given to a student who has met unusual challenges in order to learn and read Braille. Such challenges include, but are not limited to, having other disabilities in addition to blindness or being an English language learner. If applicable the certifying official needs to note on the registration form that the applicant should be considered for this award.

If you have questions, contact the contest administrator:

Deborah Stein
Email: (Please put Nationwide BRAL in the subject line.)
phone number: 773-203-1394

Additional Files

2017 Contest Winners

Grades K – 1:

  • First Place: Shaelin Shakespeare – Aliquippa, PA
  • Second Place: Elizabeth Fitzgerald – Kalamazoo, MI
  • Third Place: Maxwell Clements – Portage, MI

Grades 2 – 3:

  • First Place: Mackenzie Karbash – Delavan, WI
  • Second Place: Mariam Samura – Oneida, NY
  • Third Place: Andrew Godwin – Bristol, PA

Grades 4 – 5:

  • First Place: Jacob Cole – Painted Post, NY
  • Second Place: Jake LaVeck – Champaign, IL
  • Third Place: Isaac Raske – Wheaton, IL

Grades 6 – 8:

  • First Place: Anthony (LT) Spears – Mattoon, IL
  • Second Place: Matthew Leinart – Downers Grove, IL
  • Third Place: Andrea Cataquiz – Glendale Heights, IL

Grades 9 – 12:

  • First Place: Phuong Nguyen – Bloomington, MN