EllaElla is a bright 10 year-old student from Delta, BC. She loves going to school, where she has worked diligently to become a proficient reader and writer.

Because she is blind, Ella uses the Braille code as her primary reading medium. Braille is a system of raised dots which is read by touch by people who are blind. Ella is a well rounded student and also enjoys playing piano and violin, and she loves to dance.

Ella loves showcasing her Braille skills by competing in the North American Braille Challenge competition, an endeavour she was able to pursue with the support of her vision teacher, Carolyn Northcott. Ella developed skills using the Apex Braillenote and Mountbatten Brailler provided by SET-BC. The Provincial Centre for the Visually Impaired provided crucial learning materials, and helped fund travel expenses.

The Braille Challenge is a two-part competition. First, the regional competition took place at the University of British Columbia. Winners of the regional challenge were invited to compete in Los Angeles against other top regional competitors from all over North America. Ella was one of three Canadians who qualified for the finals of the 2013 Braille Competition, where students are expected to efficiently proofread and transcribe documents, interpret charts and graphs, and correctly answer comprehension questions.

Ella found the competition challenging and did her best and wasn’t upset that she didn’t win. She enjoyed meeting the other participants, staying in a great hotel, and she relished the activities arranged by the Braille Challenge organizers – she especially loved the dance party. In fact, Ella so appreciated the opportunities of the event that she’s entered the competition for a second time and will be heading to Los Angeles for the 2014 competition in June. We wish her the very best.

Braille on, Ella! You are definitely a winner to us!

Ella’s trip to Los Angeles

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