Blind student introduces peers to “beep kickball”

Students in Sequoyah High PE classes recently donned blindfolds to play "beep kickball" and get a sense of what it's like to be blind.

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Students in Sequoyah High PE classes recently donned blindfolds to play "beep kickball" and get a sense of what it's like to be blind.

Reagan Waycaster, 15, first learned to play “beep kickball” when she was 9. Blind since birth, the Alpharetta resident attended a camp for the visually impaired where she discovered the game that uses a beeping ball to attract players’ attention.

“The kicker turns on the ball and places it in front of themselves to kick it,” she explained. “There are two bases, and when one of them goes off, the kicker has to run to that base and touch it before the fielders get the beeping ball.”

Waycaster recently introduced fellow students at Canton’s Sequoyah High School to the game as a way to give her peers a bit more understanding of what it’s like to be blind. But first she had to explain it to her gym teacher, Emily Goodson.

“I was trying to wrap my mind around it because it was hard to visualize when she was explaining it to me,” said Goodson. “But I’m always looking for different, fun activities to bring to the kids into personal fitness and keep them engaged, so we tried it.”

Katie Proctor, one of four vision teachers in the Cherokee district, had the adapted kickball used by an after-school group called the Blind Believers that she launched in 2013.

“We started it so the kids could get to know each other,” she said. “Our motto is you can do anything, just in a different way. Reagan has been in the group about seven years and wanted to bring the game to her PE class to show them what it’s like.”

Goodson assigned about 50 students to four kickball teams who took up the challenge. “Their main reaction was shock that they’d be playing blindfolded,” said Goodson. “They were so surprised at how different things are when one of your senses is taken away.”

Proctor said the games created several humorous moments.

“These were high school students who think they can do anything, and it was funny to see some of the big guys blindfolded and barely walking because they were terrified,” she said. “Everyone was so impressed with Reagan who ran full force because she trusts her other senses.”

Waycaster revealed the secret to her success: “After a while, you get used to isolating one sound – the beeping ball or the base,” she said.

After the competition, students asked to do it again, said Goodson. “I heard them say it was so much fun but so much harder than they anticipated.”

Proctor said the PE teachers were to be commended for giving the game a go.

“I’m so appreciative of them for being open to doing this,” she said. “The kids had a blast, and I feel like they really walked away learning that people who are visually impaired can do anything anyone else can do, just in a different way.”

Waycaster agreed.

“The game showed them what it’s like to be legally blind,” she said. “And it was fun.”

Information about Sequoyah High is online at cherokeek12.net/sequoyahhs.


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