Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Blind skate (edited)

Today had to be for me the best day I have had in forever.

What the day was going to look like I thought was a day spent at a local arena with the six year old and other students who are visually impaired, skating.  I was not sure how successful a day it would be for Malia together with her lack of vision, hemiplegia and tendency towards defiance.  I thought if she was going to have any success that I needed to be there to tune her up if need be in a way that might be a bit more effective than what teaching staff and volunteers are able to do while still ensuring she got the most out of the day.
What the day actually looked like is us beginning in a room listening to a variety of speakers all of whom offered me and the older kids in attendance information we were not expecting.


We heard more about our local athletic association for the blind which was great as I had been searching them out only to find a very outdated website.  Turns out everyone suffers from political infighting and the website seems to be one of the issues.

There was even a fellow there who told us about two tv stations that are free to everyone that are geared for the visually impaired and also explained how the audio description works for the programs enhanced with it.

Next on the list was a tour of the arena which included getting up close and personal with a zamboni (I had to leave for an hour to pick the boy up from school so missed that).  I will tell you though nothing says fun like about twenty or so visually impaired kids making use of their mobility training going up a crowded staircase and finding a seat on a bleacher.

No word of a lie I thought the kid was going to go over the edge twice as she stuffed her head through the opening to look down.

After a pizza lunch the kids were all eager to do what they came there to do which was skate!  To assist the kids Courage Canada had organized a group of teen boys from one of the high schools.  These guys could not have been more patient, eager and persistent in their attempts to help their assigned charges.  The poor guy that got my child for her first go round on the ice tried to keep her upright the entire circumference of the rink while her feet were going like Fred Flinstone's driving his car.  
In the end M did great.  By the end of the afternoon she was able to get to standing almost independently, could stand for a few seconds without aid and was able to hold her feet still.  She fell a few times and not once did she cry, complain or want to be done.  She was amazing!


This last picture is of the whole group.  The day really was a roaring success and I couldn't have been more proud of everyone involved.  The bravery these kids exhibited as they allowed skates to be placed on their feet and then be taken on a surface that they would likely meet face to face at least once was inspiring.  Some were so brave and could out skate what their vision allowed and had to be encouraged to use a sighted guide or at the very least someone who had more vision than them.

Again it was an outstanding day for all involved that allowed for skill development and another opportunity to socialize with each other as a community.

I am very grateful to the organizers and all the effort put forth to make it such a wonderful experience.

1 comment:

The Kings said...

Awesome! I love her top!