Braille is everywhere, but most blind kids can’t read it. A competition hopes to change that

  • Lynn Wu warms up her finger tips for reading test at Braille Challenge Finals at her home on Saturday, July 11, 2020 in Laguna Niguel, California. (Irfan Khan/Los Angeles Times/TNS)

  • Lynn Wu, a sophomore at Tesoro High School in Rancho Santa Margarita, is already preparing for this year’s Braille Challenge regionals. (Irfan Khan/Los Angeles Times/TNS)

  • Rachel Heuser, left, a retired teacher of the visually blind, gives a festive welcome to Lynn Wu when she arrives at her home to give Braille Challenge Finals test. Residence on Saturday, July 11, 2020 in Laguna Niguel, CA. (Irfan Khan/Los Angeles Times)

LOS ANGELES — The challenger sat alone at a square folding table in the center of her teacher’s immaculate living room, stockinged feet whispering against the plush, white carpet, hands poised over a blue Perkins Brailler — something like a manual typewriter crossed with a court reporter’s steno machine. To say the Brailler is loud is an understatement. The force required to emboss Braille paper produces a noise less like typing and more like repeatedly firing a BB gun.