Ready, Set, Go!!

Mariana Flores, BEAT Investigator

Ready, set, go!!! Wait Really, this is it? These are the steps to independence? Yes that’s right. “Get ready kids because you’re stepping on to our turf now!!” Oh wait that’s what southern Arizona Association for the Visually impaired (SAAVI) says.
Ready Set Go, (RSG) is a summer camp located in Tucson, and it is a residential camp where kids with a visual impairment will live in an apartment for 6 weeks to maintain different skills. It’s not just skills, it’s living skills, orientation and mobility skills, and a whole lot more.
No you don’t live in the apartment by yourself, you have up to 3 roommates. In your apartment, not only do you have to have your apartment clean, but you have apartment checks with a life coach. If you don’t have your apartment cleaned, you will get an F as in a big fat zero!!! If you get a big fat zero, you will have to go over the the code of conduct until you get it right.

Additionally, there’s also some fun that goes with that as well. The students will have classes they will have to take, but after classes, they get to go to their apartment and chill for a while, and then do some fun activities. Some of those activities include, going to the movies, do a simulated surfing, zip lining, and  bowling. Last year RSG went to Las Vegas for the National Federation for the Blind, (NFB) convention, and it was a whole lot of fun. The essential idea of this trip was to not only make speeches and propaganda  or hear that kind of stuff, but you had to be as independent as possible. There was no one is going to be your eyes and ears the entire time. You had to figure out where you are. Even at the airport, you had to find the gate or terminal. That was the point of this trip. This year, the convention will be in Houston, Texas. Can you dig it?

The program is directed by the Southern Arizona Association for the Visually Impaired. The staff up there are mixed. Sometimes you will have a blind life coach for this program or a sighted life coach. During this program, the life coaches have training canes. Yes training canes, a white cane the use to act out how it is to be blind, and it shows people to “Achieve more without eye sight.”