The Kentucky School for the Blind (KSB) hosted a regional 2024 Braille Challenge event on Feb. 22, giving blind students from across the Commonwealth an opportunity to showcase their proficiency in braille and compete for an opportunity to challenge students from across the country in the Braille Challenge Finals 2024, hosted by the Braille Institute.

All photos were taken by Joe Ragusa with the Kentucky Department of Education.

A woman speaks into a microphone with kids sitting in front of her

Jane Thompson of American Printing House, the organization that sponsored the Kentucky regional 2024 Braille Challenge event, speaks during the opening ceremony.

A woman holding a sign that says "freshman" lead students into an auditorium

Volunteers lead students into the auditorium during the opening ceremony of the regional 2024 Braille Challenge event.

Mascots for Subway and the Louisville Bats baseball team

Mascots for Subway and the Louisville Bats minor league baseball team welcome students to the regional 2024 Braille Challenge opening ceremony.

A girl with glasses looks off into the distance

Kaily Arellano, a student at Breckinridge-Franklin Elementary School (Jefferson County), looks on during the opening ceremony.

Two students work on braille machines

Joshua Lewis (right), a student at Kammerer Middle School (Jefferson County), and MaKenna Harrod, a student at KSB, practice on braille machines ahead of the competition.

A student types on a braille machine

Tyler Cain, a student at Southern Middle School (Pulaski County), practices on a braille machine before the competition.

A woman helps a kid feed paper into a braille machine

Deanna Lefan, a volunteer and teacher for the blind and visually impaired in Jefferson County, helps Kaily Arellano ahead of the competition.

A woman talks to a student

Lauralyn Randles, a volunteer who works at American Printing House, helps Mamoon Salam, a student at Campbell County Middle School, before the competition begins.

A student feeds paper into a braille machine

Mackenzie Gibson, a student at Whitley County Middle School, feeds paper into a braille machine before the regional competition.

MaKenna Harrod practices on a braille machine

MaKenna Harrod practices on a braille machine before the regional competition begins.

The participants were placed into categories based on their grade level and judged against the performance of their peers. Of all the students competing around the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom, the top ten scorers from each level advance to the finals, for a total of 50 contestants.

Below are the winners and where they are from:

Apprentice (1st-2nd grades)

  • 1st place – Kaily Arellano, Jefferson County.
  • 2nd place – Kylie Rose, Whitley County.
  • 3rd place – Tyler Cain, Pulaski County.

Freshman (3rd-4th grades)

  • 1st place – Bradley Wines, KSB.
  • 2nd place – Josiah Seymore, KSB.
  • 3rd place – Ella Moses, Laurel County.

Sophomore (5th-6th grades)

  • 1st place – Krishna Malhotra, KSB.
  • 2nd place – Mamoon Salam, Campbell County.

Jr. Varsity (7th-9th grades)

  • 1st place – Addyson Clarkson, Bullitt County.
  • 2nd place – Joshua Lewis, Jefferson County.
  • 3rd place – MaKenna Harrod, KSB.

Varsity (10th-12th grades)

  • 1st place – Braedon Robinson, Shelby County.
  • 2nd place – Jenna Claywell, Adair County.
  • 3rd place – Macy Spigelmire, Bullitt County.

High Score Spelling (Apprentice/Freshman combined): Kylie Rose.

High Score Reading Comprehension: Tie between Braeden Robinson and Jenna Claywell.