Strategies To Include The Visually Impaired In Sporting Events
Including the Visually Impaired as Competitors in Existing Sporting EventsSome sporting events require little or no effort to be adapted for visually impaired contestants. Weight lifting is one example of a competitive sport in which sight is not required. Tandem cycling, which can be enjoyed with the aid of a sighted teammate, may also appeal to visually impaired competitors. The International Blind Sport Federation recognizes several official tandem cycling competitions for the visually impaired. These include the 1,000 meter sprint, the individual pursuit and standing start time trials. The Olympic pursuit, which involves two teams of three tandems competing over a distance of 4,000 meters, is also recognized as a competition for male tandem cyclists.
Goalball: Creating a New Sport For the Visually ImpairedAt times, the need for a competitive sport designed specifically for the visually impaired has been recognized, and a suitable game has been conceived. Goalball is a competitive sport that was developed after World War II as a means of keeping blind veterans physically active. Goalball is played by men and women, and involves speed, strategy and a fast pace of play. Two teams of three players each roll a ball with bells inside toward each other on a goalball court. The defending team must listen for the ball and block it from crossing the center of the court. When one team successfully blocks the ball, the other team become the defenders and the game resumes.
Assisting the Visually Impaired SpectatorIt isn’t difficult to include the visually impaired as spectators. A group of spectators made of both sighted and visually impaired members can employ one member as a narrator for the others. Tom Balek, writing for Future Reflections, has noted that most sighted people can learn to narrate an ongoing sports event by listening to radio broadcasts of games and modeling their presentation on those of the radio announcers. If a member of the group is unable to narrate, visually impaired spectators can wear a personal radio with headphones instead. With their radios tuned to a radio broadcast of the game they are attending, blind spectators can enjoy the narration provided by the broadcast while being a part of the live crowd as well.
Using Technology to Include the Visually Impaired in SportsTechnology to assist the blind in sports may be simple or complex. In ten pin bowling, for example, a simple guide rail makes the game playable. The guide rail is placed alongside the bowling approach, extending back from the foul line, and the bowler typically slides one hand along the rail while delivering the ball with the other.
More complex technology can be implemented to involve the visually impaired in sports such as racing. In January 2011, the robotics and mechanisms laboratory of Virginia Tech debuted technology dubbed “nonvisual interface technologies” which, when integrated into a car, allow the driver to navigate without the use of sight. The technology, which one the NFB Blind Driver Challenge, was premiered at the 2011 Rolex 24 event at the Daytona International Speedway. It should not be used as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. LIVESTRONG is a registered trademark of the LIVESTRONG Foundation. Moreover, we do not select every advertiser or advertisement that appears on the web sitemany of the advertisements are served by third party advertising companies.