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Tuesday, June 3, 2014

tactice carnival in ohio

Note: This blog is being written by Angie Orlando, the goofy,
fun-loving writer who is known to say crazy things. This is not
being written by Angela C. Orlando, the mature and intelligent
president of the Northeast Ohio DeafBlind Association.

The Ohio Tactile Carnival

Saturday, March 1st, 2014
The Play Center
Hattie Larlham Foundation
Mantua, Ohio

Another day... Another carnival. But this one was destined to be
extra special because it was held in Ohio for all my friends and
family to enjoy. Northeast Ohio DeafBlind Association sponsored
the Tactile Carnival and DeafBlind Can Celebration. We had two
goals for the event: have fun and spread awareness about the
needs and capabilities of individuals who are DeafBlind. There's
no doubt that we succeeded in both areas... and more.

We had DeafBlind awareness activities, info packets, raffles, a
guessing game to win candy and food and drinks for sale. Best of
all was Scott Stoffel, 12 carnival style games and his awesome
prize tables. And just incase I haven't said it enough, he's my
boyfriend. (See my sweet smile.)

We were thankful to Frank (Scott's father) who drove the trailer
from Southeast Pennsylvania and Larry (Scott's brother) who came
from Indiana to help out. In addition, we had dozens of
volunteers running the games, staffing the prize tables, selling
food and raffle tickets, working at the awareness activities, and
helping individuals with disabilities experience the great fun of
the one and only Tactile Carnival.

The number of DeafBlind guests was lower than I hoped for. But
the total number of people who came was astonishing. Adults and
children (including my son) experienced a different way of life
in an enjoyable manner and got to take home cool prizes.

Here is my personal account of The Ohio Tactile Carnival, the
games and wacky adventures. Hold on to your hat. It's gonna be a
wild ride.

Scott and his family travelled to Twinsburg on Friday night.
Larry made it just fine. Scott and Frank got stuck in stand-still
traffic for over an hour. When they finally made it to Kent, they
couldn't find my apartment. Scott was sending me text messages.
They were so very close. But because I can't see and don't know
how the neighborhood is set up, I couldn't give them directions.

We all made it to the hotel very late. The restaurant there was
closed. We went to a near-by Applebees, very late. Thus, we got
to bed, very late. There's a little more to the story, but the
Blogspot censors say I can't tell it. Darn!

We got breakfast on Saturday morning and headed to the Hattie
Larlham Foundation in Mantua. And the Chaos began! People rushed
about unloaded the trailer, setting up games, bringing in food
and finding places for everything. Scott taught the game managers
how to run their tables. I just sat around looking pretty. I
wished I could have help, but it was better for me to stay out of
the way.

Scott and I had some free time before people started to arrive,
so he showed me the new carnival style skee ball game he bought
and modified. My problem was that I can't roll the ball in a
straight line, even with the tactile markers. I got one ball in.
Scott seemed impressed by my style. Apparently the ball hit one
wall, zig-zagged to the other and then jumped into one of the
baskets.

I then created the unexpected 13th game called "Find the Orange
Ball," and otherwise known as, "Angie Causing More Trouble."
Scott and I had some communication issues. I thought he was
telling me to throw hard. Actually, he was saying the opposite.
That orange plastic ball hit something, came zooming back and
flew somewhere over my shoulder. At first, Scott didn't
understand that the ball went for a roll behind us. He couldn't
find it. We had a bunch of volunteers looking for that sucker. I
must be as strong as Popeye considering how far away the ball was
found.

With the impromptu warm-up game complete, we were ready to start
the real show. I was happy to see so many familiar faces. I think
most of them came to meet "the guy." In between talking with
people and talking with people and talking with people, I got to
play some games.

Crazy Race with Sea Creatures - (Luck/a little strategy) This
racing game can be played by up to four players.

** You have to be careful with this one because the shark cheats.
I was the octopus and Joseph picked the sting ray. If you roll
your own number, you move two spaces. If someone else rolls your
number, you move ahead one. The shark, who is the fifth player
controlled by the game manager, always advances two at a time. I
came in second and Joseph got third. It's most fun with more
people play.

Dingo Royal - (Luck) This is a fast-paced version of dingo that
can be played by one or two players. The playing cards have
braille and large print markings. See if you can clear all of
your cards before the dealer's hand runs out. Score points by
clearing all the cards in a suit. (The scoring has been increased
since this game last appeared at an event.)

** This was the game of the century. At long last, Scott and I
sat down to square off against each other. We would finally
determine which of us was the great and mighty one. I punched him
every time he won the card. (And once when I had the card but got
a little confused.) The result? We tied, each having three cards
left. Scott said it's rare to have a tie with Dingo. Leave it to
the two of us...

Extinct! - (Luck) Choose one of the nine jumbo dinosaurs that you
think will outlast the others, as they become extinct one by one.
Find and hatch dino eggs for bonus points.

** I've played this game so many times, I can't remember what
happened. I'm sure I loved it. I always do. It's a cute game.
Joseph thought it was fun. He played as the raptor. I'm always
the big veggie eater.

Godzilla vs. Angry Birds - (Luck/strategy) Move your five
Play-Doh Angry Birds across the tactile grid to safety. Pick up
birdfeeders along the way for bonus points. You must go around
the giant Godzilla figure, which moves and tries to stomp your
Birds flat or swat them away with his long tail.

** I wanted to show Joseph the absolute "TC" classic. I didn't
know about the person with the camera. The pictures pretty much
say it all. There's one of me moving close to Godzilla's head.
Yes, folks, I really did kiss the big, green monster. Don't tell
Scott about the competition. Another picture shows Joseph
standing behind me and laughing his tail off. We both got three
birds across... and two foot print pancakes. Joseph thought the
game was awesome. I agree.

Gold Ribbon Skee Ball - (Target/skill) This tabletop skee ball
game is entirely accessible. Players can feel the braille
markings on the scoring holes at the end of the four-foot ramp.
Nets under the holes hold the balls, so blind players know where
they went.

** After my earlier disaster with this game, I wasn't planning on
playing for tokens. But Scott caught up with me. He's been trying
so hard to make a skee ball game I can play. It didn't work. I
broke the poor guy's heart. But now he's dreaming up something
bigger and better. God help us all!

The Hot Wheel - (Luck) Choose your lucky numbers on the tactile
betting board and spin the giant wheel. The score increases when
your numbers turn up. Grab bonuses when you land on Easy Street
or the Fast Lane. But you'll take a hit if you get the wrong
numbers or end up in a Traffic Jam or at the YIELD. Keep spinning
until the dreaded STOP sign cuts you off. The wheel is embossed
with tactile characters and road signs.

** Last time this was my big token winter. I guess the luck
wasn't with me or my family this time. I flunked out twice and
Joseph didn't win a single token. But we both laughed a lot.
Scott knows how to make losing just as fun as winning.

Luck o' the Irish - (Luck/strategy) Try to find the hidden
leprechauns and their pots of gold. Shamrocks will tell you when
you're getting close. Players must determine the most likely
locations of the leprechauns by considering the positions of
discovered shamrocks.

** Since the Carnival was on March 1st, we threw this one in to
be festive. It's another cute and creative game. I did pretty
good with it.

Monster Manor - (Luck/strategy) Roll the tactile die and explore
the many rooms of the haunted manor in search of hidden treasures
and objects of protection. But don't disturb the spooky
residents, or they'll chase you through the halls with seriously
bad intentions. Features tactile game board and figures of
classic creeps.

** Believe it or not, This is the game Scott built in my honor.
I'm a vampire book addict and love all my monsters. The game
board is incredibly clever and detailed. I had no clue what I was
doing. I somehow let loose three or four monsters before I had
any protection. It was the wolf-man who got me. I can't wait to
try again at camp next week.

Plinko - (Luck) The beloved disc-drop game is made tactile with
braille and a guiding hand to show the path of a falling disc.

** Plinko is a Carnival-favorite. But it's not a favorite of
mine. The game ends too fast.

Popeye's Love Punch - (Luck/strategy) Help Popeye clear a path
across the barrel-cluttered pier and rescue Olive from Bluto with
a spinach-powered punch. Find hidden hearts, baby Sweet Pea and
give Wimpy a hamburger today (he'll gladly pay you Tuesday) for
more points. But don't get "decked" by a Bluto blow. Game
includes tactile character figures and squeeze-launch fists.

** I truly love this one. Everything is so tactile. You open
barrels and reach in to find out what's inside. I got hearts,
Sweet Pea and a burger for Wimpy. You have to work around the
board carefully so you can delver the burger and still make it to
Olive. There are cans of spinach in two barrels and some with big
fists. You want to avoid the latter. The fist hooks onto a little
air-pump thing, and you get "punched." But if you have your
spinach, you get to punch out Bluto. What could be more fun?

Sink the Battleship - (Luck/a little strategy) Seek and destroy
enemy destroyers, submarines and cruisers on the grid. Pick up
metal replicas of various World War II aircraft and save them for
the bonus round. Then use your squadron of warplanes to try to
sink the 26-inch battleship.

** I suspect this game requires a y-chromosome to be successful.
I did so bad, I thought they'd dunk me in the slime tank. Then
Joseph came along and blew away the battle ship. This was a big
token-winner for him, no me.

Slime Time - (Timed/skill) This game is not for the squeamish!
Stick your hand in the tank of slippery green slime and try to
find and retrieve butterflies and ladybugs from among the masses
of creepy-crawlers that include scorpions, dragonflies, bees,
ants, centipedes, spiders and a few other delightful critters
waiting to meet your fingers.

** It was MY carnival and MY choice of games. That meant slime!
Let me say, this batch of slime turned out oozing, goozing and
chunky... Totally disgusting -- Perfect! I found all the
butterflies and one lady bug. The lady bugs are hard to pick up
because the round shells are so slippery. Joseph played while
wearing a blindfold. He had a harder time and kept pulling out
dragon flies and spiders. He thought it was fun but thinks my
obsession with slime is kind of weird. So does Scott. You don't
need to understand it. Just play the game!

There is another wonderful photograph that would cause a riot if
I could get it uploaded on Facebook. I am near the prize tables,
and Scott is down on one knee in front of me. We both have
serious looks on our faces, while the SSP's around us are
laughing. This was not a proposal!!

Actually, we were having trouble communicating since neither one
of us can sign standing up. I finally got down on my knees too. I
took his hands in mine as if in prayer and said, "let us give
praise to the god of the prizes." Speaking of which...

Prizes -- It is a known fact that Scott goes overboard when
shopping for prizes. He had t-shirts, stuffed animals, candy,
braille games, differ types of balls, key chains, decorations,
magnet and who knows what else! There were prizes to match the
games: Popeye, Godzilla, dinosaurs, monsters, little containers
of slime, St. Patrick's Day things and World War II planes. Some
people think that prizes are just for kids. That's not true at
The Tactile Carnival. There's something for everyone, I guarantee
it.

Joseph bought a re-bound ball and some candy and left me with the
rest of our tokens. I was quick to buy the braille Rubix cube and
a black scaredy ct stuffed animal. I also got some eyeball bouncy
balls, a container of slime and a t-shirt with a vampire with
gold fangs and black shades. (I told you I love vampires.)

I was the winner of the candy guessing game. You couldn't see the
candy. You had to feel the container and judge the weight. I
guess I had an advantage in that.

We had four volunteers named Megan. This caused a stir when
"Megan" won one of the raffles. The other raffles were won by Al,
Al, Al and Al. I hope he liked his beauty basket, along with all
the cash.

The only bad news was the predicted snow storm. The stoffel
family decided not to stay a second night at the hotel and left
as soon as everything was packed up. There turned out not to be a
single flake of snow between Mantua and Philadelphia.

Will there be another Tactile Carnival in Ohio? YES. But we are
switching to the Fall, so we won't have to worry about winter
storms. The target date is September, 2015. You better be there!

Angela C. Orlando
"Tactile Carnival in Ohio?
June 2nd, 2014

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