MUSKOGEE, Okla. – Oklahoma School for the Blind third-grader Hunter Kelley earned a third place award in the apprentice category at the national Braille Challenge competition held Saturday, June 17, in Los Angeles.
Kelley represented Oklahoma Braille-users in a field that included 1,127 competitors from the U.S. and Canada.
He qualified for the first time to compete at the national level during regional competition held at OSB in March. He earned first place in the apprentice category and was the overall winner in both the freshman and apprentice categories.
Richelle Zampella, an OSB junior from Muskogee, won the Harley Fetterman Charts and Graphs Excellence Award for the second year in a row at the national Braille Challenge.
Zampella’s sister Katelynn, who will be an OSB second grader, and Hailey Baskeyfield, a second grader from Noble, also competed at the national level.
Braille Challenge is a national program sponsored by the Braille Institute -- a nonprofit organization that eliminates barriers caused by blindness and severe sight loss.
Oklahoma School for the Blind is a division of the Oklahoma Department of Rehabilitation Services.
Approximately 18,000 Oklahomans are legally blind, while more than 116,000 have vision difficulties, according to U.S. Census data.
The Oklahoma School for the Blind is fully accredited and teaches specialized skills that help students live independently, as well as all state-mandated education requirements. In 2016, 158 students lived at the school Monday through Thursday, commuted from home or attended summer school classes. The graduation rate from the residential and commuter program was 100 percent. OSB also provides thousands of free outreach services each year for students attending local public schools, their families and educators.
For more information about the Oklahoma School for the Blind, call 918-781-8200 or 877-229-7136 toll free.