Dozens of braille users are put to the test in the annual tournament, which is in its eighth year. According to the organizers, this year's NYC Braille Challenge saw participation from about 50 students.
Two years after coming to our country from Uzbekistan, 15-year-old Orzueva, who is legally blind, has taken part each year.
"Going to public school in New York was good because I couldn't attend one in Uzbekistan. I think there are so many opportunities here," she remarked.
Along with attending nationals, her other goals as a junior at the John F. Kennedy School include graduating and enrolling in Barnard College to study criminology.
The Administrator of The NYC Braille Challenge
"She is a fantastic learner, I must say." Jonathan Hopper, the administrator of the NYC Braille Challenge and Orzueva's former teacher, said of her, "She is really good at self-advocating and she is very motivated.
"Students of various ages and grade levels took part in the activity. Younger pupils complete spelling tests and engage in other activities, while older students may listen to an audio version of a passage and braille it in an effort to braille quickly. Or by deciphering a tactile graphic," remarked Hopper.
The winners of the city competition advance to the national competition for kids. Nevertheless, students and families prepare for this day all year long regardless of how a student performs, and event organizers work to make each year bigger and better.
The NYPD marching band played this year to wish the students success.
Orzueva claimed that while she might wish to go on to the next level, she still values her friends and her sense of belonging. Students compete against the best in the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom at Nationals in California.
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