21st annual Braille Games send children, adults with low vision to outer space at the Milwaukee Public Museum
MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- Everything in our world is catered to sight. But on Thursday, the Milwaukee Public Museum turned its spotlight onto those with little to no vision.
Around 30 children and adults who are visually impaired in some capacity attended the 21st annual Braille Games -- an event sponsored by the Wisconsin Talking Book and Braille Library (WTBBL), the Audio and Braille Literacy Enhancement (ABLE), the Vision Forward Association and local school districts.
This year's event focused on learning about outer space and astronomy.
Participants were able to hold a 3D-printed replica of the moon, use Brailler's to write creative stories about aliens, and feel the sizes of planets in our solar system.
Outside, students practiced using pressure pumps on empty soda bottles to learn about force and launch them into the air -- the sound of the launch letting them know how high they were able to get their "rocket" to go.
“It’s exciting to have our blind and visually impaired children get to have some of the experiences that their sighted peers get to have here at the museum," said ABLE Director Cheryl Orgas, who has helped organize the games for more than 15 years. “This event is meant to help kids just focus on Braille for the day and celebrate a tool that creates independence and self-sufficiency.”
Everything in our world is catered to sight — and #Milwaukee is trying to become more inclusive to those with little to no vision. Coming up on @CBS58 at 4:30, the 21st annual Braille Games held at the @MKEPublicMuseum this morning✨ pic.twitter.com/p3BOCdVfQa— Ellie Nakamoto-White (@ellienw_news) May 11, 2023
For 14-year-old JT Laura, the games are an event he looks forward to each year.
"I enjoyed having a blast at Braille Games," Laura said. “I can understand what we’re doing, and I can understand where all of this is coming from.”
Laura's creative writing focused on a planet about 1,000 miles away from Earth called Bloock.
“My story was about me living on a different planet that I’ve never ever gotten to explore in a long time that never existed," Laura said.
Teriana Oats, 12, agreed, noting that her favorite part of the day was sending the rocket into space.
"It's just really fun," Oats said. "I love to participate."
The 22nd annual Braille Games are already in the works.
“Blind kids are just like sighted kids. They want to have fun, they want to explore the world and just be with each other," Orgas said.