Double Celebrations in International Onkyo braille contest 2015

Two braille users from Scotland and Wales win the top prizes 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 leg 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

UK celebrates two winners

Hot on the heels of Brandon Hulcoop, last years winning teenager from Wiltshire, we’re very excited and proud to announce that 15 year old Lewis Shaw from Annan in Dumfries and Galloway has won the junior category of the competition.  Even better Lyn Street from Newport, South Wales won the senior category as well. Both writers win a bumper $1,000 each in prize money.

Lewis tells a humorous tale of how his teachers inspired him to learn braille which now stands him in good stead for his future studies. He says

‘I personally use both braille and computer screen-readers. I use a lot of braille when cramming for exams as the physical touch seems to help the information or certain difficult words or formulae to sink in.’

Lyn’s essay takes a light hearted look at the advantages of using braille. She says

‘Braillists are the only people who can truly say we have information “at our fingertips”.  When used by others this is a metaphor, but for us it’s a fact – it’s the way we read!’

The full essays are well worth a read and are available to download below

The other winning European essays are of an excellent standard and are a fascinating insight into people’s lives from Countries such as Russia, Estonia and Portugal. They can be found on the EBU website.

Be inspired

The essays written by the other UK finalists, are available to read below

Thinking of entering?

Feeling inspired? If you would like us to let you know when the 2016 competition opens (usually in late February), just send your contact details to to be put on the contact list.

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