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Is Braille Literacy On The Decline?


Two Ohio students were chosen as finalists for the coveted Braille Institute of America Braille Challenge Finals. The national competition was held in Los Angeles June 21-22.

MaKenzie Love and Philip Sotak from the Columbus area competed at Clovernook Center for the Blind & Visually Impaired in Cincinnati on March 1, where they took first and second place respectively in the sophomore category. The two went on to the finals.

While this national success is being celebrated, the use of Braille is on the decline, with troubling implications for literacy rates. According to the National Federation of the Blind, half of all children who are blind learned Braille in the 1950s. Today that number may be as low as one in 10.

Joining Cincinnati Edition to discuss Braille literacy are Clovernook Center for the Blind & Visually Impaired Braille Printing House Manager Sam Foulkes; Quality Assurance Coordinator David Grimes; and Braille Challenge national competition participant MaKenzie Love.

Listen to Cincinnati Edition live at noon M-F. Audio for this segment will be uploaded after 4 p.m. ET.

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Michael Monks brings a broad range of experience to WVXU-FM as the host of Cincinnati Edition, Cincinnati Public Radio's weekday news and information talk show.