What is FLORIDA CANE QUEST?
Cane Quest® is a competitive program designed for students in grades 7-12 to test mobility and cane skills. It was created by Braille Institute of America (www.canequest.org), who also brought us The Braille Challenge. Students listen to pre-recorded instructions on a BookPort Plus to follow one of several routes in residential, light business or business environments. Along each route, O&M instructors are positioned to score students’ skills, techniques, and ability to follow directions as the student passes by. EACH student is followed at all times by an assigned shadow to ensure safety, while each O&M instructor remains in his/her designated scoring area and is responsible for whichever student is in this area while scoring.
Students in grades 3-6 will be known as “Scouts” and they complete an indoor challenge that is non-competitive. The Scouts route consists of 12-14 stations to test students’ O&M skills, such as search techniques, laterality, positional concepts, auditory localization, sighted guide, narrow passage, protective techniques, etc. Students go through each station with a parent, family member, or other sighted adult. Each team performs the skills as assigned and is awarded gold coins based on how well the skills are performed. Some stations require the sighted team member to wear a sleepshade and the student does the guiding!
One very important requirement is that students participating in Florida Cane Quest® must fall within one of the two following categories based on USABA Visual Classifications.
B1: No light perception in either eye up to light perception, but inability to recognize the shape of a hand at any distance or in any direction.
B2: From ability to recognize the shape of a hand up to visual acuity of 20/600 and/or a visual field of less than 5 degrees in the best eye with the best practical eye correction.
Students may wear a sleepshade in order to compete as a B1. O&M instructors must complete an application verifying the visual classification of their student.
First, second and third place prizes will be awarded to students in the B1 and B2 groups of Explorers and Trailblazers. The Scouts can exchange their collected gold coins for prizes or can keep their gold coins. All students will receive a commemorative t-shirt and certificate for participating in a Quest.
Just like with the Florida Regional Braille Challenge events, Cane Quest® and Treasure Quest will take our entire state to come together. Something Florida does very well! We need O&M instructors, TVIs, paraprofessionals, aides, administrators, university faculty and students, volunteers, and family members.
Since this event is new and requires much greater attention to safety, individuals who sign up to assist as a judge, Station Master or Shadow will be required to attend a training session on Friday, November 14. The trainings will be incorporated into the Working With the Experts workshop. Register for WWE online and indicate which area of the Florida Cane Quest® you can assist with. Here’s what we need:
A. Graphic design/artwork
B. Rhyming using mobility concepts (for another fun and exciting theme!)
C. Event set-up/decorations (1-2 days before event)
D. Station development and testing
F. Food pick up/set up morning of event
E. O&M judges on routes (O&M instructors only – CEUs available)
F. Station masters (O&M or TVI)
G. Shadows (O&M, TVI)
H. Microsoft Excel expert to manage scoring (Florida Cane Quest® only)
I. Provide BookPort Plus training for students (and maybe parents) day of event
J. Clean-up crew at end of day