News and Tribune


July 2, 2013

Getting a feel for it: Georgetown boy competes in national Braille competition



Nancy Niebrugge, director of the Braille Challenge, said it’s not easy to make it to the national competition level. She said contestants have to qualify and win in regional contests before getting selected to go to the competition.

“They’re in the very top percentage of Braille readers for their age group to make the finals, especially for his age as a first-grader,” Niebrugge said. “It’s really an accomplishment for someone his age.”

She said children who can see have an easier time practicing their reading skills because words are everywhere, with things like cereal boxes, billboards and television. But blind children have to seek out the opportunity to learn better reading skills.

“Part of the idea of [the competition] was to give them extra incentive to learn,” Niebrugge said. “It’s critical for them to learn how to read and they don’t get as much opportunity to do that unless the opportunity is created for them.”

Marie said Ian had to learn more than words, letters and Braille’s unique contractions. She said he had to read tactile maps, which indicate land features such as rivers, like printed maps do.

After going to the competition and visiting LEGOLAND, Ian’s back home and ready to give it another go for next year.

“He’s just 7, but he said he’s ready to try harder next time,” Marie said. “It’s like every parent, you think your kid is smart and has learned a lot, but to see your child chosen out of 1,000 with 60 kids going, we think it’s pretty cool that they picked Ian.”

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Easter 2014 photos

Click on any photo to purchase it.

Twitter Updates
Follow us on twitter
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
AP Video
Raw: Families Travel to Taiwan Plane Crash Site Arizona Execution Takes Almost Two Hours Gen. Odierno Discusses Ukraine, NATO at Forum Gaza Fighting Rages Amid Cease-Fire Efforts Mint Gives JFK Coin a Face-lift Creative Makeovers for Ugly Cellphone Towers Ariz. Inmate Dies 2 Hours After Execution Began Crash Kills Teen Pilot Seeking World Record LeBron James Sends Apology Treat to Neighbors Raw: Funeral for Man Who Died in NYPD Custody Migrants Back in Honduras After US Deports Israeli American Reservist Torn Over Return Raw: ISS Cargo Ship Launches in Kazakhstan Six Indicted in StubHub Hacking Scheme Former NTSB Official: FAA Ban 'prudent' EPA Gets Hip With Kardashian Tweet Bodies of MH17 Victims Arrive in the Netherlands Biden Decries Voting Restrictions in NAACP Talk Broncos Owner Steps Down Due to Alzheimer's US, UN Push Shuttle Diplomacy in Mideast
2013 Photos of the year

Take a look at our most memorable photos from 2013.