James Scholes, a 25-year-old braille user from Bradford, has won the junior prize in the World Braille Essay Contest.
Every year, the International Onkyo Braille competition looks for winning essays on braille. Writers from the UK enter the European category of the competition. Over the years there’s been some beautifully crafted and inspirational pieces of poetry and prose written by users, students, teachers, transcribers and parents, all of whom have been touched by braille in one way or another. This year was no different.
For the fourth year running, the UK is celebrating winning a prize in the prestigious essay competition. The European jury considered 55 essays from 19 different countries and decided that James Scholes should receive $500 dollars from the Japanese sponsors for his essay on the impact of braille in rural Mexico, entitled "Rural Dots".
James said, "I wanted to write a piece to highlight the work that my partner has been doing to bring literacy to her local community in Mexico, a place traditionally under-served by braille tuition. With one of the students featured in the essay now entering primary school, I'm overjoyed that the article has been awarded such recognition and hope that it may inspire others in similar circumstances."
The other winning European essays are of an excellent standard and are a fascinating insight into people’s lives from countries such as Italy, Russia and Hungary. They can be found on the EBU website.
The other essays selected to represent the UK in this year’s European final can be read below.
All essays have been reproduced by kind permission of the European Blind Union.
We are hoping that Onkyo (A Japanese technology company) will continue to sponsor this competition. We are usually notified of their intent in the month of February. If you would like to receive notification of the competition as soon as it is confirmed then please send your contact details to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Subscribe to Overdrive, our new digital library service for blind and partially sighted people, through the RNIB shopSubscribe