Students will participate in the quest for the school cane for the blind on November 2
(MUSKOGEE, Okla.) — Thirty-eight candidates have registered to compete in the 10th annual Oklahoma Regional Cane Quest competition hosted by the Oklahoma School for the Blind.
Cane Quest will take place from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. on Wednesday, November 2. The competition is a national program of the Braille Institute of America, based in Los Angeles, California.
All competitors will use long white canes to move around to identify obstacles in their path, changes in surfaces, such as falls down stairs or curbs.
“White canes let the public know that people are visually impaired,” said Faye Miller, BSF’s orientation and mobility specialist and Cane Quest regional coordinator. “This is particularly important at railroad crossings, as a long cane increases the chances of a vehicle yielding when users are able to cross streets.”
Oklahoma law requires drivers to come to a complete stop within 15 feet of pedestrians who are visually impaired and identified by their use of red-tipped white canes or guide dogs. Persons who violate this law are guilty of a misdemeanor punishable by imprisonment for up to three months or a fine of $100 or both.
Cane Quest competitors in the Scouts category will compete at the Oklahoma School for the Blind campus in Muskogee. They will demonstrate a variety of human guiding skills, body and spatial awareness abilities, and safe stair negotiation.
Scouts earn coins for expert skills that they can use to purchase prizes.
Competitors in the Explorers and Trailblazers categories will compete in downtown Muskogee near the Muskogee Civic Center. They will walk through streets and alleys and demonstrate different long cane techniques while following recorded instructions.
These competitors have the opportunity to win gold, silver and bronze medals.
Miller said sponsors include Braille Institute of America, 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.
Donations in memory of Bud Holder will also support the Cane Quest contest.
“Cane Quest is a great opportunity for students to demonstrate their cane skills and challenge themselves while having fun,” said BSF Superintendent Rita Echelle. “We appreciate Faye Miller, all of our sponsors and the volunteers who make this event possible.”
OSB is a division of the Oklahoma Department of Rehabilitation Services.
The OSB Residential and Commuter Student Academic Program meets all state-mandated educational requirements. Students also receive specialized training in Braille, orientation and mobility, technology and other areas. They attend lessons Monday through Thursday free of charge and are transported home during three-day weekends, vacations and summer holidays. BSF staff assist students with visual impairments who attend other public schools, their families and educators free of charge.
For more information about OSB, call toll-free 877-229-7136 or visit http://osb.k12.ok.us/.