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2012 Spokane Braille Rally a Winner!

Participants in the Hands-On Car Show for the Blind at the 2012 Spokane Braille Rally

The rain on Saturday, June 9th could not dampen the spirits of the 16 drivers and navigators who participated in the 2012 Spokane Braille Rally.  After a beautiful rendition of the National Anthem by Andrea Godard and a rousing “Call To Position” by Spokane Mayor David Condon (check out the podcast below for audio), the rally teams drove a competitive 53-mile course through the Spokane area, starting and ending at Inland Northwest Lighthouse. The teams consisted of a sighted driver and a blind or visually impaired navigator, who read the course directions in braille.

The 2012 Spokane Braille Rally sponsors were Hoyt Lewis and Associates, Inc., Northern Quest Resort and Casino, Haskins Steel Company, Inc., Coffman Engineers, Numerica Credit Union, and Wells Fargo Insurance Services USA, Inc.

This fun and exciting fundraiser inspired over $15,000 in donations in support of making jobs accessible to over 50 blind and visually impaired employees at INL. Click here to view photos and access audio of the speakers’ remarks at this weekend’s event.

What’s a Braille Rally? It’s a contest in which cars leave a starting point at a recorded time, and travel a designated route to a finish point.  Each rally team consists of a sighted driver and a “navigator” who is blind or visually impaired.  The navigator reads the route directions and clues which are written in braille.  The event tests the braille literacy of the navigator, since the driver can only follow the directions provided by the navigator.

The route begins and ends at INL, with designated checkpoints along the way.  Points are awarded based on the time it takes the team to get to each checkpoint.  The team that completes the course with the most points wins!