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Blind Students Experience Hockey from the Pros

On Thursday, January 31, 2019, students from the FSDB Blind High School had a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to learn about and try out the sport of hockey with help from visiting members of Lightning Made Hockey, the Tampa Bay Lightning Community Hockey Program.

Students had the opportunity to learn some of the fundamental skills involved, including how to handle a puck (a ball that made noise was used for adaptability), make passes, and shoot on a goal. The Lightning brought along hockey equipment donated to the school, with each student receiving a hockey stick to keep for themselves. After the school day concluded, students loaded up on a bus and traveled to the Jacksonville Ice & Sportsplex to learn how to ice skate. The Lightning members provided protective equipment, including helmets and skates, so that students would be safe on the ice. After an initial few minutes of figuring things out, nearly all of the students were able to skate around the ice rink by themselves, make passes using both a real and blind hockey puck, and take shots on goal.

Watch video of students in action!

Tim Puch, FSDB Orientation and Mobility teacher said,

"The experience was awesome, and all involved were thrilled to witness how quickly students picked up the various skills and how much fun they were all having."

The Lightning staff was moved by the joy the students found in learning new skills and having such a great experience.

"Students are still talking about the event and are anxious to get back on a rink to further advance their skills and have some fun," said Puch.

What the Students Thought of the the Experience

Veronica holding hockey stick
"I thought the overall experience was a great opportunity because a lot of the kids had never been ice skating, let alone play hockey." Veronica Hyatt (10th grade)

Tayshaun learning hockey.
"It's so cool that a professional sports team would take time out of their busy schedule to come to teach us hockey and how to skate." Treyshaun Faison (10th grade)

Courtney skating on ice.
"I can't believe I skated all by myself!" Courtney Hawkins (10th grade)

Natalie playing hockey against a classmate.
"When are we coming back out to [the ice rink] practice." Natalie Cruz (9th grade)

By Tim Puch, Orientation & Mobility, Blind Department


About FSDB

The Florida School for the Deaf and the Blind is a tuition-free state public school and outreach center available to eligible Pre-K and K-12 students who are deaf/hard of hearing, blind/visually impaired, or deafblind. At FSDB, students learn how to do more, be more, and achieve more, fulfilling our vision of preparing them for a lifetime of success. FSDB gratefully accepts private donations to support vital programs that directly benefit students and are not paid by state general revenue funds. For a campus tour or to inquire about eligibility for enrollment, contact FSDB Parent Services at 904-827-2212 voice or 904-201-4527 videophone. For more information, visit


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