Reading isn't usually a competitive sport. But it's become one for Braille readers because of a lack of excitement about Braille.
Right now, the Los Angeles-based Braille Institute is putting on regional competitions like this one in a classroom at the Tennessee School for the Blind.
A braille reading competition actually looks more like a typing contest.
As competition begins, students flip through their packets. Their spread fingers sweep over the square pages.
In some events, they proofread Braille. But in this session, they interpret charts and graphs, typing their answers into mechanical nine-key Braille writers.
The old-school equipment is akin to taking a math test without a calculator these days. Digital technology, especially a computer's ability to read text aloud, makes Braille seem more and more antiquated. But 12th-grader Marcus Johnson finds it a necessary skill.
"Because you cannot use technology for every aspect of education, so sometimes you just have to have that physical writing there," he says.
For Johnson, there's also something about the written word, even in an alphabet of dots.
"To me, it's kind of reminiscent," he says. "I've had...