MUSKOGEE, Okla. – A record-breaking 32 contestants are signed up to participate in Oklahoma School for the Blind fifth Oklahoma Regional Cane Quest on Thursday, November 16.
The unique Cane Quest competition challenges students to use proper travel techniques and cane skills to complete secret routes in their communities.
Cane Quest is a national program of the Braille Institute of America, based in Los Angeles, California.
Students from across Oklahoma will compete to earn points and win prizes.
“Being able to use the skills and techniques learned in orientation and mobility with the white cane gives our students opportunities to go anywhere they want to go,” said Faye Miller, OSB certified orientation and mobility instructor and Cane Quest regional organizer.
“Whether they are getting from college dorms to their classes or from their apartments to work, Cane Quest motivates students to practice these skills from a young age and encourages them to leave the boundaries of their home and school to explore their communities,” she explained.
Older students will navigate a route in downtown Muskogee by following verbal directions and paying attention to environmental clues to reach destinations.
Younger students will demonstrate their skills by completing a variety of travel tasks on the OSB campus.
OSB staff and trained volunteers will monitor contestants at all times.
“Cane Quest helps students master mobility skills and make the connection between efficient cane travel and independence,” OSB Superintendent Rita Echelle said. “We at Oklahoma School for the Blind also get the chance to meet cane users who attend other schools and join OSB students to demonstrate that youth who are blind can travel independently and successfully navigate their own communities and the world.”
OSB is a division of the Oklahoma Department of Rehabilitation Services.
For more information about OSB or Cane Quest, phone toll free 877-229-7136.
The Oklahoma School for the Blind is the statewide resource for the education of blind and visually impaired students. 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. OSB also provides thousands of hours of free services each year for students attending local public schools, their families and local school staff.