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Competitors rewarded at School for the Blind’s 10th Cane Quest

Friday, December 02, 2022

MUSKOGEE, Okla. – “Proper cane skills and travel techniques are keys to independence for people who are blind,” Oklahoma School for the Blind Superintendent Rita Echelle said, explaining why OSB hosted the tenth Oklahoma Regional Cane Quest competition in Muskogee.

Thirty-six contestants identified obstacles and changes in surfaces, such as drop-offs at stairs or curbs, in a quest for medals and prizes at OSB’s 10th Cane Quest.

“White canes let the public know that people are visually impaired,” Faye Miller, OSB orientation and mobility specialist and regional Cane Quest coordinator, said. “This is especially important at street crossings because a long cane increases the chances a vehicle will yield when cane users are crossing streets.”

Cane Quest contestants in the Scouts category competed on the OSB campus in Muskogee. They were judged on a variety of human guide skills, body and spatial awareness abilities, and safe negotiation of stairs. Scouts earned coins for expertly performed skills. They used the coins to purchase prizes.

Those in the Explorers and Trailblazers categories for older students crossed streets and alleys and demonstrated long cane techniques while following recorded directions in downtown Muskogee. They had the opportunity to earn gold, silver and bronze medals.

Certified orientation and mobility specialists and teachers of the visually impaired scored all the contestants. 

Cane Quest is a national program of the Braille Institute of America, based in Los Angeles, California.

“Cane Quest competitors worked hard and demonstrated competitiveness and skills,” Faye Miller, OSB certified orientation and mobility instructor and Cane Quest regional organizer, said.  “Of course, they especially loved winning prizes and medals.”

“Proper cane use is important because Oklahoma law requires drivers to completely stop their vehicles 15 feet away from pedestrians who are visually impaired and identified by their use of white canes with red tips or dog guides,” Echelle said. “People who violate this law are guilty of a misdemeanor punishable by imprisonment for up to three months or $100 fine or both.”

Cane Quest sponsors included Braille Institute of America, Bud Holder memorial donations, Frank Dirksen, Lawton Council of the Blind, Liberty Braille, Muskogee County Health Department, NanoPac, Oklahoma Chapter of Association for the Education and Rehabilitation of Blind and Visually Impaired, Oklahoma Council of the Blind, Oklahoma State University – High Obesity Program, Sapulpa Lions Club, Services for the Blind and Visually Impaired and Tulsa Downtown Lions Club.

OSB and Services for the Blind and Visually Impaired are divisions of the Oklahoma Department of Rehabilitation Services.

OSB’s staff serve residential and day students in pre-school through 12th-grade, offering educational instruction that meets all state education requirements. Students also receive specialized instruction in Braille, orientation and mobility, technology and other areas. They attend classes Monday through Thursday free of charge and are transported home for holidays, summer breaks and three-day weekends during the regular school year. OSB staff also provide assistance to students with visual disabilities who attend other Oklahoma public schools, their families and educators.

For more information, phone OSB toll free at 877-229-7136 or visit


Leah Sailors and Stephanie Story, both from Tulsa show off their medals won at Oklahoma School for the Blind’s 2022 Oklahoma Regional Cane Quest competition.

For more information

Jody Harlan, DRS Communications Director

Cell: 405-203-1318 

Last Modified on Dec 02, 2022