Competitors rewarded at School for the Blind’s 10th Cane Quest
MUSKOGEE, Okla. – With white canes as their guides, 32 contestants identified obstacles and surface changes in a competition for medals and prizes during Oklahoma School for the Blind’s eleventh Oklahoma Regional Cane Quest in Muskogee.
Cane Quest is a national program of the Braille Institute of America, based in Los Angeles, California.
“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.”
Contestants in the Scouts category demonstrated basic cane skills, guide skills and worked with their volunteer teammates to complete orientation and mobility tasks on the OSB campus at 3300 Gibson Street in Muskogee.
Explorers in grades 6 though 9 and Trailblazers in grades 10 through 12 successfully completed five types of street crossings and demonstrated more advanced cane skills along a route in downtown Muskogee.
Cane Quest award winners from across the state were:
Blaze Calger, 5th grade, Duncan
Gabriella Henderson, 5th grade, Muskogee
Justus Hoover, 4th grade, Alva
Stephanie Glynn, 8th grade, Tulsa – gold medal
Kairi Husman, 6th grade, Oklahoma City, silver medal
Macey Millar, 8th grade, Muldrow – gold medal
Elli Montgomery, 6th grade, Shady Point – bronze medal
Hunter Pugh, freshman, Talala – bronze medal
Quanté Sellers, freshman, Oklahoma City – silver medal
Piper Conner, freshman, Perkins – gold medal
Angel Cozort, sophomore, Ketchum – bronze medal
Delilah Howell, sophomore, Westville – silver medal
Lilith Pederson, sophomore, Anadarko – bronze medal
Kolten Pennington, junior, Ada – gold medal
Leah Sailors, freshman, Sand Springs – silver medal
More than 60 volunteers from across the state scored performance and partnered with each participant.
“Proper cane skills and travel techniques are keys to independence for people who are blind,” Oklahoma School for the Blind Superintendent Rita Echelle said. “Our Cane Quest competition helps OSB students and those who attend other schools improve and master travel skills that will help them become employed and self-sufficient.”
“I appreciate Cane Quest Coordinator Faye Miller and all the many volunteers who helped make this event successful,” Echelle said.
Oklahoma law requires drivers to completely stop 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, a $100 fine or both.
Cane Quest sponsors include 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, National Center for Disability Education and Training Pre-Employment Transition Training, 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 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