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OK School for the Blind awards medals in 8th Cane Quest contest

Friday, January 08, 2021

MUSKOGEE, Okla. – COVID-19 could not stop Oklahoma School for the Blind from hosting 31 students who competed in the 8th Oklahoma Regional Cane Quest in 2020.

Traditionally, Cane Quest occurs on a single day in Muskogee.

Students in 7th through 12th grades are judged on their use of appropriate cane skills and travel techniques on downtown routes, while younger contestants in 3rd through 6th grades compete in a variety of travel tasks on the OSB campus.

“This year was markedly different,” Faye Miller, OSB certified orientation and mobility instructor (COMS) and Cane Quest regional organizer, said. “Contestants worked one-on-one with an OSB COMS either in-person or virtually.

“The contest took several weeks to complete instead of just one day of fun, and contestants had to wait to see how they fared against their peers,” Miller said.

Scoring criterion also changed to accommodate the virtual format.

“Instead of outdoor routes in the community, contestants competed indoors and were scored on a variety of specialized cane techniques,” Miller said. “They followed multiple-step directions to demonstrate their understanding of spatial concepts and used lateral and cardinal directions to locate targets as well as techniques for traveling with human guides.”

Lateral directions use an understanding of the left and right sides of competitors’ bodies.

They must also keep track of their spatial relationship to cardinal directions, which represent north, south, east, and west,

Cane Quest award-winners are:

Top 5 Scouts (Grades 3-6)
Stephanie Story
Payton Crum
Delilah Howell
Quante Sellers
Avery Dollar 

Explorers B1 (Grades 7-9)
Gold Skyler Moore 
Silver Hunter Kelley

Explorers B2 (Grades 7-9)
Gold Josie Cox
Silver Angel Cozort
Bronze Julia Cisneros 

Trailblazers B1 (Grades 10-12)
Gold Elbin Carrillo
Silver Julio Valdez
Bronze Joseph Rodriguez 

Trailblazers B2 (Grades 10-12)
Gold Kaylie Minter 
Silver Rayce Phillips 
Bronze Samantha Six 

“We made the commitment to continue Cane Quest in 2020 because this important competition helps students master mobility skills and make the connection between efficient cane travel and independence,” OSB Superintendent Rita Echelle said.

Cane Quest contestants will receive t-shirts, goodie bags, certificates and prizes when in-person learning resumes at Oklahoma School for the Blind later in January.  

Event sponsors are Oklahoma School for the Blind, Braille Institute of America, Liberty Braille, Frank Dirksen, NanoPac, NewView Oklahoma, Oklahoma Association for Education and Rehabilitation and Oklahoma Council of the Blind.

Additional sponsors include Ruth Kelly Studios, OG&E, Reliant Rehabilitation, Sapulpa Lions Club, SERVPRO and OSU Cooperative Extension Services.

OSB is a division of the Oklahoma Department of Rehabilitation Services.

The Oklahoma School for the Blind is a fully accredited public school that offers a complete educational program, tuition free, for blind and visually impaired students from pre-school through high school. Residential and commuter students meet all state-mandated education requirements and receive specialized instruction in Braille, orientation and mobility, optimum use of low vision, adaptive equipment technology and tactile graphic skills not readily available at other public schools in the state. As the statewide resource for the education of blind and visually impaired students, OSB also provides thousands of hours of free services each year for students attending local public schools, their families and local school staff.

For more information about OSB or Cane Quest, phone toll free 877-229-7136 or visit http://osb.k12.ok.us/.

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Oklahoma School for the Blind, headquartered in Muskogee, hosted a virtual version of their 8th Oklahoma Regional Cane Quest for 31 student competitors.

For more information

Jody Harlan, DRS Communications Director

Cell: 405-203-1318 

Last Modified on Jan 12, 2021