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Summer 2009 Table of Contents
Versión Español de este artículo (Spanish Version)

By Ahbee Orton, Student, Crowley, TX Abstract: A Texas student describes her experience competing in a national Braille contest. Ahbee Orton wins first place for the grade 1-2 category.

Keywords: blind, visual impairment, Braille, literacy

Editor’s Note: The Braille Challenge® is an academic competition sponsored by the Braille Institute. This two-stage contest is designed to motivate blind students to emphasize their study of braille, while rewarding their success with a fun-filled, but challenging, weekend of events.

My name is Ahbee Orton and I am 9 years old. I will be in the third grade at Deer Creek Elementary in Crowley ISD. My family went with me to the Braille challenge. These are my teachers that helped me get good at Braille: Michelle Garrett and Mary Elliott. My mobility teacher's name is Jill Brown.

The preliminary round was at my school. I did it with Mrs. Garrett. The (national) competition was held at the Braille Institute in Los Angeles California on Saturday, June 20. I had to do spelling, proofreading, and comprehension for my age group.

The winners would be announced that(night) at the special banquet. I was thinking maybe I would win. Then they said my name as the first place winner. I felt excited. I got a trophy, a thousand dollars savings bond, and a Pac Mate. A Pac Mate is a computer device for Braille readers.

I was nervous to be in front of all the people that were there. Jim Cummings was there. He was the emcee. Jim Cummings is the voice of Winnie the Pooh, Tigger, and many other characters. Scott Macintyre was there also. He was the blind person on American Idol.

I liked going shopping with my dad. We went shopping the day of the Banquet. It was fun because I like shopping. We went shopping at the City Walk at Universal Studios.

I liked sleeping in a hotel. The hotel had a pool and a Jacuzzi. I liked swimming in the pool and the Jacuzzi. My family touched the Pacific Ocean with our feet. The water was cold.

My family went to Santa Monica and ate dinner at a restaurant called Bubba Gump Shrimp. They had all kinds of shrimp. I ate popcorn shrimp. It was good. Me and my sister, Elizabeth, danced at Bubba Gump Shrimp. The whole trip was fun.