Braille Monitor                                     October 2017

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Tackling the Challenges—Sometimes it Gets Physical

Life presents many challenges, but far too often blind people are steered away from those involving physical activity. The results are what one would expect: poorer health, obesity, and the ailments that go along with it. Not surprisingly one of the messages we want our convention program for children to send is that physical activity is not just normal but expected. Being cautious is one thing, but overcautiousness from well-intentioned sighted people can feed the doubts of the blind person, increasing both and inhibiting the blind person for life.

Instructors explain how to use aerial silks while a Federationist sits in the loop of silk.A young Federationist hangs upside down using aerial silks while an instructor coaches her.

Monday afternoon at the convention, Federationists had an opportunity to push some of their own limits. Along with sword fighting and rhythmic drumming that were offered last year, the parents division set up aerial silks so that Federationists could experience for themselves the freedom of suspension. The short rig allowed for a few small basic maneuvers, such as hanging upside down, while instructors coached participants through them.

Two Federationists laugh from where they landed running through the obstacle course.

Federationists also had the opportunity to challenge themselves on an inflatable obstacle course. Climbing, sliding, and running on the soft surface of the course was challenging, but Federationists tumbled through it, often laughing, while showing that they could conquer the cushioned barriers here with as much courage, energy, and success as the more intangible barriers they encounter when working to live the lives they want.

Federationist fearlessly drops onto the slide in the inflatable obstacle course.

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