CANE QUEST

Report
By Lea Ann Myers, O&M Specialist and
Nancy Niebrugge,
AVP of Programs & Services
Braille Institute
AER International Conference
July 18-22, 2012 – Bellevue Washington
Helping Children
Who are Blind or
Visually Impaired
Own Their
Independence in
Any Environment
Why We Created Cane Quest
*Saw young adults who had not independently used skills taught in school
*Saw need for transference of skills learned
*Some bright teens at The Braille Challenge needed stronger O&M skills
*Saw that the motivational success of The Challenge could be replicated
It Puts a Public Face on O&M
*It increases public awareness and parent involvement
-Supports teaching textbook skills not always being taught
-Helps parents see what skills are important and why
-Generates interest by general educators
-Demonstrated need for more ECC-based programs and practice
-Helps address national trend toward restricting O&M services
*A successful pilot at our OC Center gave us inspiration
Pilot Project in Orange County, 2007
6 high school students
3 male, 3 female
All totally blind
BIA campus
Instructions in braille
8 O&M instructors
2 volunteers, 1 staff member
Supported by:
Checkpoints & Instructions
*Developed concept of having
O&M checkpoints, giving students a
score for each skill observed
*Established what skills could and
should be measured and the need
for a consistent rubric
*Learned how to create a “route” that
Students could follow that would
not be too easy, too hard
What we learned….
*Students were excited and wanted to do another competition SOON!
*Excellent feedback from kids and O&Ms helped us create a true event
They Said--Too easy, make it harder
-Wanted unfamiliar territory
-Take if “off campus”
We Realized-We needed lots of O&M support
-Needed an evaluation tool
What Is It Today
• Motivational contest with
prizes and awards for 30+
• Day long event, includes
parents
• Grades 3rd to 12th
• O&M Specialists are trained to
score skills
• O&M routes are pre-tested in
community
• Mall travel included
• Simulated bus travel with
transfers for oldest group
Key Elements to
It’s Success
1. We are truly challenging the
kids, but build in safety.
2. We Require an Eligibility
Application, completed by
O&Ms, so we know students
have the skills
3. Prizes and element of
competition is key
4. O&Ms love it because it’s a
great assessment and teaching
tool
Challenging Kids Safely
*O&Ms have contestants in view at all times
*Contestants are “shadowed” by a volunteer at all times for safety
*O&Ms control all major street crossings, intervene whenever necessary
Establishing Safe, Challenging Routes
-Map out area to includes specific skills,
such as certain street crossings, uneven
terrain, etc.
-O&M walk-through, draft instructions
-Dry run with blind adults first, who then
provide feedback on difficulty, effectiveness
of instructions, etc.
-Full staff committee walk-through
-Shadow and O&M scorers walk-through
-Routes reviewed morning of event for last
minute issues
-Terrain and overall difficulty scales upward
by age
“Treasure Quest” for Youngest Kids
-Treasure Hunt-style contest
-On campus for “Scouts” in 3-6th
grades
-Engages parents to learn basic
O&M concepts and training
-Kids guide parents under blindfold
-All instructions given verbally to
limit frustration and confusion
-Earn “coins” for achievement, not
a true competition at this age
Explorers &
Trailblazers
-Explorers in grades 7-9 master
residential, light business and mall
travel
-Trailblazers in grades 10-12 master
residential, business, mall and bus
travel, including transfers.
-Students follow audio routes using
cardinal or directional instructions
-Students are given a chance to selfcorrect, and are only offered
assistance when they veer too far off
course.
Eligibility Applications Provide Safety
and Assessment Tool
-Not all students accepted
-Screened for basic skills to be
safe in this environment
-O&M completes assessment
-Skills assessed follow the general
checklist used for scoring during
contest
-Assessment provides a guide for
age-based benchmarks
-Materials include contest rules
and expectations, which provides
a means for “practice.”
Each of the following skills should be assessed on a
scale of 1-4, with 1 representing poor and 4
representing excellent, and based on average
expectations for a student at grade level.
CANE TECHNIQUES
Two Touch Technique
1234
Trailing with the Touch Technique
1234
Touch and Drag Technique
1234
Shoreline/Guideline Technique
1234
Three-point Touch Technique
1234
Constant Contact Technique
1234
Diagonal Technique
1234
RESIDENTIAL TRAVEL
Travel a variety of specified routes
1234
Reversing routes
1234
Travel around a rectangular block
1234
Cross residential streets
1234
Cross 4 way stops
1234
Cross at accessible signals
1234
Sample Route Instructions
Trailblazer Residential to Business
1. Start at a corner of the block.
2. Line up facing east.
3. Walk three quarters of the way around the four sided block. You will be going
east, north and then west. When you have gotten three quarters of the way around,
verify this with your shadow.
4. Turn north, cross the street going north.
5. Continue walking north one block to corner.
6. Turn west, cross the street going west.
7. Walk west one block to a major street. There will be driveways to cross.
8. At corner turn south. Walk parallel to the major street. Cross an alleyway and
walk to the corner.
9. Cross a small street parallel to the major street.
10. Walk to a major signal intersection. There will be a large driveway to cross
before you get to the corner of the major signal intersection.
Training for Volunteer O&M Scorers
-All scorers attend
training session before
contest begins
-Eligible for 4-5 CEUs
-View video clips taken of
adult walkers and
together rate skills based
on rubric provided
-Goal is to achieve 80%
inter-rater reliability
-WONDERFUL opportunity
for discussion
-Textbook technique
versus “real life” skills
instruction
Sample Scorer Training Video
CSULA Professionals Developed
Rubrics to Establish Scoring
1
2
3
4
Arc height
Above 3” from the ground
N/A
N/A
Below 3” above the ground
Rhythm and
pace
Over steps cane coverage or
shuffles, AND has unusual
balance, unusually slow
pace, or unsteady gait
Over stepping cane
coverage but the pace and
gait are typical for walking
and is balanced without
breaking stride
Not over stepping cane
coverage; either pace is
irregular or balance is
unsteady; may break stride
Not over stepping cane
coverage; normal walking
pace; doesn’t break stride;
balanced gait
In-step
Less than 50% of the time
50-75% of the time; and
does not self-correct
75-90% of the time; and
self-corrects
More than 90% of the time
Straight line of
travel
Less than 50% of the time
50-90% of the time; and
does not correct
50-90% of the time & selfcorrects
More than 90% of the time
-Strict guidelines established to diminish subjectivity
-Provides inter-rater reliability so data can be used for research
How Contestants Are Scored
ER-1
ER-2
ER-3
ER-4
ER-5
ER-6
ER-7
ER-8
ER-9
ER-10
ER-11
ER-12
ER-13
Appropriate cane technique
Appropriate hand position
Arc width
Gait and pace
In-step
Straight line of travel (mid block)
Maintain line of travel to locate curb
Appropriate stance and direction at curb
Sweep with cane to signal start of crossing
Crosses at appropriate time
Maintains line of travel while crossing
Steps onto curb
Locates sidewalk and resumes travel
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Shadow Training
-Some shadows are O&Ms, but most
are professionals who work with
students who are blind or visually
impaired
-Provided specific instruction on when
and where to intervene
-Essential for safety and parents’
peace of mind
-View separate DVD that recreates
scenarios they may encounter and
how to respond
-Issue of making sure they don’t
provide “too much help.”
Sample Shadow Training Video
Activities for the Day
-Training
-Registration
-Opening Ceremony
-Travel to and from
routes
-Staging of
Contestants
-Lunch
-Scoring,
debriefing,
entertainment
-Closing Awards
Competition = Motivation
*Segmented by visual acuity using USABA
acuity guidelines, for true parity
*Kids enjoy testing their own limits, using
skills only reinforced formally in school
*Gives kids a way to compare their own
independence and skill level
*Provides a challenge for them to be
independent, without the guidance of a
trusted O&M, friend or family member
Prizes = Motivation
•
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Humanware GPS system
Sendero GPS System
Medals
Certificates
T-shirts
Lunch
A day with friends, family
Supported by their O&M
What’s Next
*Continue to fine tune
our local event to create
an event handbook,
materials others can use
and follow
*Determine who is
interested in hosting an
event in their own region
*Texas TVI held a pilot
last spring
*Interest expressed by
Carroll Center, FSU,
TSBVI, Connecticut
Educational Services
What Else We’ve Learned So Far..
*Some kids like braille instructions, but audio instructions preferable
-better prepares them for using GPS
-provides consistency of media for all contestants
-if provided on a lanyard, Bookport is more “hands-free”
-good introduction to digital players, digital literacy
*Dispatching and timing for staging of kids, addressing passing on
the route, everyone starts with residential to give them a “warm up”
*Issue of parent involvement, too much or not enough – genesis of
Treasure Quest, but don’t include parents on older student routes.
*O&M feedback helped flesh out rubrics, now have one for each
skills tested
What’s Next
• National Advisory Committee forming to evaluate how to export
this program to other regions
– Believe it can be repeated in other environments
– Plan to identify core skills to be included in all competitions, with each
regional creating metrics for their specific environment (for weather,
rural vs. city, etc.)
• Data is being compiled by CSULA
• Hopes for longitudinal study
• Student surveys, O&M debrief sessions, and contestant
performance analysis will tell us perceptions versus actual
abilities; diversity of range of skills by age, etc.
• Hope to benchmarks what skills are appropriate at what age and
impact of different instructional strategies
• May include a low vision route, testing different skills (monocular)

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