Students at Our Redeemer’s Christian School had the opportunity to learn and understand how life with vision loss impacts people. They had the chance to learn about and play goalball, which is a game played mainly by those who are blind and visually impaired.

“This is a sport that was designed right after World War II, in England, as a recreation and rehab sport for servicemen and women that lost their vision during World War II,” said Trampes Brown, president of the North Dakota Association of the Blind.

The objective of the game is to throw the ball into the net past your opponents, all while having an eye covering on.

“We had to put blindfolds on and we had to listen for the bells and it was very interesting because you had to listen, and you had to have very good hearing in order to get it,” said fifth-grader Ruby Olson.

The goal of the demonstration was not only to show students how to play the game but to learn about life with vision loss.

“It’s giving awareness to blind people and how they have to live and that everyone can do this,” said fifth-grader Fisher Strom.

Brown says it’s important for everyone to be inclusive because a disability can affect anyone.

“To understand inclusiveness is to realize that you don’t know what your situation could be tomorrow,” said Brown. “That this could be an opportunity that you learn now as to something you may experience in the future.”

Olson says she learned more about life for people with disabilities.

“I understand now how God made them and it’s not that they’re different, it’s that they’re unique,” said Olson.

Brown says he hopes the students learned from his own personal story with vision loss.

“Any disability does not limit you from living a very full life and achieving whatever goals you set forth,” said Brown. “It is just one barrier that you choose to overcome.”

Goalball was first played in the Paralympic Games in 1976, and the women’s event was added in 1984.