What We Have Here Is a Lack of Communication

I attempted to give a play-by-play description of what was happening at a pep rally to a blind student today. To call it an abject failure would be an understatement.

People were screaming wildly around us. “Why is there so much noise?”

“The cheerleaders are cheering.”

“Well, what is that?”

“Right now, they’re throwing girls up in the air.”

“They ARE? Why?”

“It’s part of cheerleading. They make cheerleader towers by lifting the smallest ones up on top of their shoulders or on their hands up into the air and then throw them up higher into the air and catch them.”

Crowd: “Oooooooooooh! (thud)”

“They catch them MOST of the time.”

“But why do they throw girls?”

“I really don’t know. Cheerleaders like it, I suppose.”

“Could I throw one?”


“Why not?”

“Errrrr, uhhhhhhhh, because you’re not a girl!”

“Can you throw one?”


“Why not?”

“Uhhhh, I’m not a cheerleader. They practice catching girls.” (Okay, that was really lame.)

How do you explain activities like pep rallies to students that cannot see them? I hadn’t realized before how very visual they are with cheerleaders leaping and dancing, the visual skits, etc. At least we had music and the marching band but it was so loud as to be overwhelming.


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