LAFAYETTE – They call the game “Beep Ball” and it’s one of the many activities that the Affiliated Blind of Louisiana is holding for White Cane Awareness Week.
Those who are not visually impaired are allowed to play…there’s just one rule.
“Everyone that plays the game has to have a blindfold. So that puts everybody on the same level,” explains Patrick Thibodeaux, an instructor for ABL and also blind, himself.
Players from each team have to hit a beeping softball, then run to a padded base that creates a different sounding beep, all before the other team finds the ball.
“One of the biggest objectives, again, is learning to listen,” says Thibodeaux, “That’s a very key point. For someone who’s newly blind or that’s been blind for just a short period of time, your sense of hearing and listening is very key and important to your success in life.”
Exchanging the white cane for a bat is just one way members of A.B.L. are able to find a sense of normalcy.
As Patrick Thibodeaux puts it, “Just letting the community and the world around us know that we’re here and that we’re active. Because that’s the other part about someone with blindness or deaf-blindness. The important thing is to maintain your activity and to not allow your condition to disrupt your quality of life.”