Maze Day invites K-12 students with visual impairments, along with their parents/guardians and teachers, to the Department to experience a wide variety of educational games and tools created just for them. For students who are often left out of school field trips and activities because they are not members of the sighted community, Maze Day provides a one-of-a-kind day of fun and learning.
In 2005, three Computer Science students from Dr. Gary Bishop’s Enabling Technology class developed a project to see whether children with visual impairments could complete a life size maze after practicing on a computer simulation with a force-feedback joystick. The Computer Science students invited several students with visual impairments to test out the maze an hour before their class.
Once Dr. Bishop heard that so many visitors were coming just an hour before his class, he canceled class and began to set up a much larger event. Each student group set up a booth for the children to test out their games. The positive feedback from the children and parents who attended was so overwhelming that Maze Day became an annual event. Maze Day has been held for more than ten years, and each year has brought in approximately 100-150 students and adults.
“The interactions between visually impaired students/parents/teachers and Carolina students/professors/staff has an impact that is long lasting – all these kids go home thinking that they are accepted and special. I had to laugh when one die-hard Duke fan proudly walked away with his signed Carolina poster! For some of these kids, Maze Day has sparked an interest in attending college – an idea they had never considered before.” -Diane Brauner, Orientation and Mobility Specialist
Unfortunately, we will be unable to hold Maze Day in 2019. We plan to host it again in the spring of 2020.
For more information about Maze Day & Enabling Technology please visit Dr. Bishop’s website.