KANSAS CITY, Mo. - An eight-year-old Kansas City girl is back home after competing in the National Braille Challenge in Los Angeles where she competed against other visually impaired students from across the country.
Audrey Bethay was born with Leber's congenital amaurosis.
"They say if you take a pencil or straw and poke it through the bottom of a Styrofoam cup and put the drinking part up to your eye, the little hole you see through would be what her field of vision is," Audrey's father Walter said.
Audrey started working with the Children's Center for the Visually Impaired when she was young where her parents credit the training for her advanced braille reading rate.
She can read braille between 90 to 100 words-per-minute. That's when they realized Audrey should try to qualify for the National Braille Challenge, a competition referred to as a sport for blind people.
"Read and write braille. I'm not sure how you call that a sport," Audrey said, "So I entered it and I found out I was actually really good at it and I made it to the nationals for the first time."
Last year she placed second in her age group.
"I was half sad, half happy because I knew that the first place winner got an iPad and a braille display that hooks up on your computer," Audrey said.
This year, she worked harder and it paid off-- she came in first place.
"I was really excited when my dad got the iPad and the braille display. I was like, “Can we open them right now? I want to touch each one.’"
To read more about the National Braille Challenge, visit their website at http://bit.ly/17KgWBf.
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