SUNRISE, Fla. – The Florida Panthers hosted their “Touch Tour” event for blind and visually impaired teen campers at FLA Live Arena on Friday morning.
According to event organizers, campers with the Miami Lighthouse for the Blind received a hands-on hockey clinic and were able to play right on the floor of the arena.
Local 10 News spoke with some of the teens who described their experience of playing hockey while being visually impaired.
“Basically, when the ball moves or shakes it makes a noise so we can keep track of it which is helpful because it’s easy for me to lose track of things if it’s moving too quickly,” said 15-year-old camper Jamina Dayen.
Kaden Jamid, a 17-year-old camper, told Local 10 that he uses his ears to find the puck so he could aim properly and hit it with the hockey stick.
“We’re so grateful because part of inclusion is remembering that ppl with disabilities have the right to experience what their sighted colleagues also experience. And I believe the Florida Panthers are demonstrating inclusion by having our summer campers here,” said Virginia Jacko, President and CEO of Miami Lighthouse for the Blind.
Campers ended the day by telling Local 10 that they were grateful for the entire experience.
“We’ve gotten to do a lot of things which I feel if I wasn’t a part of this, I would not have gotten the chance to do,” said Dayen.
The Miami Lighthouse’s Pre-Employment Transition Program provides blind and visually impaired individuals, ages 14-22, the opportunity to develop skills to enter the workforce or post-secondary education.
For more information about their program and organization, click here.