Richland School District is excited to announce it is bringing to the Tri-Cities a nationally-recognized orientation and mobility competition aimed at empowering and testing the skills of students with visual impairments.
Cane Quest Pacific Northwest will be held on Saturday, Oct. 15—White Cane Day—and be the first Cane Quest competition in the region. Along with giving students a venue to show off their abilities, organizers are eager to create a new opportunity for students, families and educators in the visually impaired community to build relationships and celebrate their community.
“Students who are visually impaired have unique challenges but are just as talented and eager to showcase their abilities as any group of students,” says Mandy Carpenter, one of RSD’s Teachers for the Visually Impaired. “We are so excited to partner with Braille Institute to bring this event to the Tri-Cities and celebrate these kids.”
Developed by the Braille Institute of America, Cane Quest events have students in Grades 3-12 navigate designated routes through instructions and the assistance of volunteers. Students compete based on grade level and the level of their visual impairment, from individuals without any vision to those with 20/70 vision. There is no cost to participate.
All other Cane Quest events have been held east of the Mississippi River, in the Southwest U.S. and California. RSD’s Teachers for the Visually Impaired and other staff within and outside the district’s Special Education department worked with the institute for months to plan the event—which will be centered in and around Leona Libby Middle School—and recruit participants, volunteers and sponsors. The goal is to have students throughout the Tri-Cities compete with others from across Washington, Oregon, Idaho and Montana.
“This being the first time this type of event has been held in our part of the country means a lot to educators and families we’ve spoken with,” says Linda Mcfall, another of RSD’s Teachers for the Visually Impaired. “We want to make this an annual celebration so we’re really looking to put our best foot forward.”
Interested in participating? Want to volunteer at the event? Learn more and access registration forms.
Interested in sponsoring Cane Quest Pacific Northwest? RSD continues to seek sponsorships to defray the costs of the event and remove barriers to students who want to participate. Those interested in becoming sponsors should contact Linda Mcfall at Linda.Mcfall@rsd.edu and (509) 967-6384 or Mandy Carpenter at Amanda.Carpenter@rsd.edu or (509) 967-6597