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Braille Rallye to precede Cruise Night

Gretchen Hoffman

Glendale Fire Station 21 will host a car rally of a different kind

in the hours before Cruise Night kicks off Saturday as visually

impaired teens navigate their way through Southern California.

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Drivers and navigators in the Braille Rallye will stop at Glendale

Fire Station 21, 421 Oak Street, between 11:40 a.m. and 1 p.m. for a

rest stop, fire-related games and fire safety information.

In the event, which has been going on for more than 30 years,

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children between 12 and 18 from the Braille Institute youth centers

will read Braille and large-print maps that direct their drivers

through the four-stop course.

They must get to each checkpoint at the correct speed and

appropriate time.

“There are changes in speed,” said Patricia West, one of the

organizers of the event. “Sometimes they are told that they need to

stop and stay somewhere for a period of time.”

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To participate in the Braille Rallye, the navigators most show

they are proficient at reading Braille or large print. It is designed

to encourage students to study and grow confident in reading.

“Most of them really form a special relationship with their

drivers and have the same driver several years in a row,” West said.

“For the younger ones, I think it perhaps might be a bit daunting

because they start out with strangers. They’re kind of reliant on

each other.”

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“It’s really a day for the students,” she added. “The drivers are

just facilitating.”

Glendale Fire officials will be waiting for the cars, which will

begin one minute apart from the Braille Institute Youth Center in Los

Angeles at 10 a.m., with fire hoses and other activities.


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