There are 567 blind students in South Carolina. One of those students, Brittany Bomboy, is a 16-year-old girl from Summerville. For the first time in Brittany’s life, she is putting her knowledge of braille, the only way she has ever known to read, to the test in the first annual South Carolina Regional Braille Challenge competition.
“Braille has been very important to me because, ya know, you gotta be able to accept the fact that you’re visually impaired or you’re blind and ya gotta be able to learn something new and it’s interesting just to learn and when you actually get to apply it to your life, it’s good and it helps out a lot.”
A total of 15 blind students from the state are competing today in five different categories, with five awards. Six of the students attend the South Carolina School for the Deaf and Blind, the other nine attend public schools. Marty McKenzie is a statewide vision consultant for the South Carolina Education Department.
“This is a competition where students compete in braille reading and writing, and it is to promote literacy, the awareness of braille and reading in general.”
McKenzie says students who are blind that read braille have a much greater chance of success in the workplace, and in Brittany’s case, chances are good.
“I’m very prepared. I’ve been reading a lot of braille books and I’ve been writing a lot of poems in braille.”