Answered: Marking the Clear Cylinders

Hello ~ We are reposting this as we are not sure you saw our reply -

Here is the repost ~

]Reconsider with more details ~Re: Answered: Tape on top of clear scoring cylinder

Thank you for your reply. We are a bit perplexed from your reply. Perhaps if we give more details, it may help understand the request is simply one to “level the playing field” for those with a visual disability and it does not negatively impact anyone else. Bottom line, our student has non-correctable low vision and this makes his task equivalent as trying to line the robot up to a clear cylinder from approximately from 60-80 feet away - VERY challenging. Also, this is not the first time we have requested this - we originally wrote a letter over a year ago with a similar point. Schools help level the field for him, an ID cane helps, we hope that VEX would encourage these young bright minds to do everything possible even when they face challenges such as a visual disability.
We hope give this further information will create a robust conversation among the game designers and that you will give this request more consideration having more details.

So that you know, below is the email we sent to Mr. Morella after receiving the reply here.

sent on June 24, 2013 ~

Hello Mr. Morella ~ In March 2012 as part of an English project our son emailed and wrote a letter requesting for the planning team to consider visually disabled students when designing the field. The original email is below. The VEX Challenge for 2012/13 was perfect, the colors enabled low vision people to see as equally as others. However, the design for the 2013/14 presents a significant challenge with the clear cylinder for visually impaired students. The clear cylinder is near impossible to see from 10/12 feet away for our son, Ryan Poston. He has several non correctable eye conditions, and has a vision of 20/160 in his best eye (His last eye examination results are attached).

Our request is that a color tape (white, yellow, blue) be allowed to be added to the top of the clear cylinder that holds the bucky balls. Adding tape does not give any one person any further advantage over another, it only levels the playing field for people of all visual acuities. Additionally, adding the tape is not too cost prohibitive for any school/competition. Could it be written into the rules that tape “may” be added if a participant can prove the a medical condition that warrants the situation? Perhaps if one of the designers tried to align their robot to shoot a bucky ball into a clear cylinder from at least 60 feet away, they could better empathize with the situation a low vision student has. We made the request on Forum recently and feel completely dismissed by the response received (it is inserted below).

We sincerely hope that VEX will reconsider its position on adding the tape to the clear cylinder and make every effort to include and encourage students of all abilities into this field.

Kelly & Jim Poston Robotics Education, VEX and FRC
visit to learn about our team!
05-31-2013, 11:26 AM

From: “Kelly & Jim”
To: “jason morrella”
Sent: Friday, March 30, 2012 8:38:39 PM
Subject: special request for VEX fields competittions

Dear Mr. Morella:

The purpose of this letter is request an addition to 2012-13 VEX competition field, a minor accommodation for the visually impaired.

I have low vision, acuity of 20/160 in one eye and 20/200 in the other, which cannot be corrected with glasses or anything. My request is that you add some highlighted colors at the goal locations. For example, on this year’s game, Gateway, you could add yellow tape around the tips of the goal posts. I am on team 6A, and I did pretty well considering this was my first year. Adding a brightly colored tape would allow me to see the goal as clearly as those who have 20/20 vision. Having to stand at one side of the field and see the other side is difficult. Everything in this year’s field was gray, the floor, the perimeter, the goal post, making it difficult to distinguish the goal posts well, especially with a robot in front of it. This change would level the playing for field for visually impaired students and encourage more students with vision conditions to try robotics, specifically VEX.

Thank you for your time and consideration. I hope the 2012-13 game will have an adaption for the visually impaired. I look forward to the next season; hopefully I can qualify for the world competition this time.


Ryan Poston

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