If you had to work 5-10 times harder than your competitors to accomplish a task, how would you fare? Richelle Zampella must face that exact question everyday as she prepares to compete in the National Spelling Bee. The 11-year-old from Oklahoma is blind which means she has to study by reading Braille. Her teachers say that it takes her 5-10 minutes to read a list of words that her sighted competitors could read in a minute.
She has been learning to read and write in Braille since she was five and her teacher, Cindy Lumpkin, had this to say about her amazing accomplishments, “When I had her in kindergarten, by the end of the year she was reading on a second grade level — in Braille — and it just takes a lot to learn Braille.”