Call for participants: The Central Association for the Blind and Visually Impaired (CABVI) launches unique competition for blind students

Utica, NY – For years the white cane has been a symbol of independence and ease of travel for children and adults with visual impairments. It helps people with low or no vision navigate the world around efficiently and alerts other travellers that the carrier is visually impaired. But on October 28, 2017, the white cane will become a tool in a fun yet challenging competition – CABVI Cane Quest. The event will be held at 10 a.m. at a location to be determined in the greater Utica area. We are looking for blind participants in grades 2-7 to come and compete.

Created by Braille Institute of America, Inc. as part of its expanding National Program offerings, Cane Quest is a national competition that tests the ability of blind and visually impaired youngsters to navigate the world around them independently. The Quest will test participant’s independent travel skills by having them follow a secret route through residential and business neighborhoods via auditory instructions.

“The purpose of this event is to shine a light on the importance of building successful white cane navigation skills in children with visual impairments,” said Braille Institute Assistant Vice President of National Programs, Nancy Niebrugge. “When these kids are out in the real world, they are going to have to be able to navigate from their home, to the bus stop, to work, or to find their way to classes on a college campus. The skills they’re building in this competition will ensure that they’re prepared to face the sighted world with confidence.”

CABVI Cane Quest seeks to motivate students to master their mobility skills, while also educating the sighted public about the abilities of blind youth to travel independently. The participants will be awarded special prizes at an awards ceremony at the end of the competition.

“Cane quest is an amazing experience,” began Megan Marshall, CABVI Orientation and Mobility Instructor. “To be able to challenge one’s own orientation and mobility skills, socialize with others who have vision impairments, and have fun while doing it is a tremendous opportunity! Our theme for this year is a Spooky-Fall Carnival. With our event so close to Halloween, we are encouraging kids and their families to come dressed up in costume and ready for our 12 skill obstacle course! Obstacles include physical, mental, and teamwork challenges which upon completion you can earn carnival coins that can be used to win exciting prizes! Mobility can be fun, and we are here to help prove that. We look forward to seeing everybody!”

If you would like additional information on CABVI Cane Quest, please call Stephanie Fitzgerald or Meghan Marshall at (315) 797-2233. You can also email stephanief@cabvi.org.

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