Since 2000, blind students in Iowa have had the chance to compete to win the Iowa Braille Challenge, a statewide event that's a part of the National Braille Challenge held each year in Los Angeles.
The event is supposed to encourage blind students to learn braille. Emily Wharton, who is technology director of the Iowa Department of the Blind, says that despite lots of new technology, learning braille is still vital for success.
"A lot of people say that we don't need braille because we have so much technology these days, but I'm a really big braille advocate," she explains. "Studies show that 90% of employed blind people read braille."
During this Talk of Iowa segment, Wharton talks with host Charity Nebbe. Gabriel Urbanao, who is a sophomore at Hampton Dumont High School, and won second place in his age group, also joins the conversation.