This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

Visually impaired students of all ages from around the state competed in the braille challenge in downtown Des Moines Saturday.

The Iowa Department for the Blind tested students on their spelling, comprehension and speed.

The goal of the contest was to improve the literacy rate of the visually impaired.

It’s important for the kids to know that learning braille is going to be a very significant part of their future,” says organizer, Beth Hirst, “people who know braille are more likely to get a job and people who are good braille readers make more money.”

The students are going up against other kids around the nation with the top 60 students attaining the highest score going on to compete in Los Angeles at the national championship. A top prize of $4,000 in scholarships is on offer.

Bringing together people with a similar disability also had an added bonus according to participant, Lauren Thompson, “When you’re here it’s like everyone else doesn’t think of you as blind either because that’s how everyone is here.”