Competitors expected November 8 for School for the Blind’s 11th Cane Quest
MUSKOGEE, Okla. – Thirty-three contestants are expected to compete November 8 in Oklahoma School for the Blind’s 11th Oklahoma Regional Cane Quest. The event will be held from noon to 4 p.m.
With white canes as their guides, contestants will identify obstacles and changes in surfaces, such as drop-offs at stairs or curbs, in a quest for medals and prizes.
More than 60 volunteers from across the state will score performance and partner with each participant.
Cane Quest is a national program of the Braille Institute of America, based in Los Angeles, California
“We are back to our regular Cane Quest event with more than 10 stations for each of the contestant categories.” Faye Miller, OSB orientation and mobility specialist and regional Cane Quest coordinator, said.
Contestants in the Scouts category will compete on the OSB campus at 3300 Gibson Street in Muskogee. They will demonstrate basic cane skills, guide skills and work with their volunteer teammates to complete orientation and mobility tasks.
Explorers and Trailblazers will complete five types of street crossings and demonstrate more advanced cane skills along a route in downtown Muskogee.
“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.
“White canes let the public know that people are visually impaired,” Miller 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.”
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. 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 and George Isbell memorial donations, Frank Dirksen, Jeri’s House, 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, Ruth Kelly Studios, Sapulpa Lions Club, Services for the Blind and Visually Impaired, Transcribing Mariners 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 students pre-school through 12th-grade, offering specialized educational instruction education that meet all state education requirements. Students also receive instruction in braille, orientation and mobility, assistive technology and other areas. They attend classes Monday through Thursday free of charge and are transported to regional stops throughout the state for holidays, summer breaks and three-day weekends during the regular school year. OSB staff also assist 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 http://osb.k12.ok.us/.
For more information
Jody Harlan, DRS Communications Director