An egg-stra special creation is helping blind and visually-impaired children participate in a long-standing Easter tradition.
The devices, Easter eggs that emit a beeping sound, are part of a push to make egg hunts fun for more children across the country.
David Hyche is one of the main forces behind this movement. He has made it his mission to have his daughter Rachel, who is blind, fully participate in an egg hunt.
“My daughter at 4 months old lost her vision. She has a disease called retinopathy of prematurity, and my first thought was that she could never have a ‘normal life’ … [but] she quickly taught me by the time she was 18 months old saying, ‘I’ll do it by myself’,” Hyche told FoxNews.com.
Rachel’s persistence pushed Hyche to find a way for her to participate in his church’s upcoming egg hunt. “She didn’t want someone taking her hand and putting it on an egg.”
The California-based Blind Children’s Center already had information on how to use plastic eggs that beep -- allowing for blind or visually-impaired children to participate on their own.
The large, plastic eggs are made with a switch, a piezo beeper, a 9-volt battery and a battery clip. Each egg costs $14 to build.
Hyche then used his own work experience to improve the idea. “I was able to tweak it a little. I’m an ATF agent and I work with explosives – it’s natural because they are beepers, switches, and batteries -- so I started building them in my garage.”
Since then, ATF agents and the International Association of Bomb Technicians and Investigators have launched the “Rachel Project” and now “bomb squads around the country build these eggs and provide them to schools for the blind and other groups,” he explained.
Teachers are starting to use these devices for more than just egg hunts. “They have informed me they use these year round to teach location skills … it’s a great learning aid to teach the kids how to locate things themselves -- another move toward independence for [them],” said Hyche, who is also a regional director for the National Association for Parents of Children with Visual Impairments.
Beyond the current news headlines, Hyche says, “law enforcement has taken a beating here lately and the Christian church as well. Both organizations selflessly have stepped up for [this] ... I am very grateful.”