Nine years ago, David Hyche, the father of a visually impaired daughter, as well as a normal-sighted son, was faced with the problem of creating an Easter Egg hunt that both his older son, and 19-month-old daughter, Rachel could enjoy, after volunteering at his church’s Easter Egg hunt, and realizing Rachel — who has been blind since she was 4-months-old — could not participate. Like any father, Hyche wanted Rachel to have just as much fun as all the other kids, but with Rachel being visually impaired, it was a daunting task. After researching online, he found that there were already beeping eggs available, but they were incredibly expensive, so he set out to make his own.
“I was researching online how she could do an Easter egg hunt and have fun with it and I found that people were already making beeping eggs. I called a man in Los Angeles and he told me how he did it and then I came up with a cheaper way to do it.”
For Hyche, who is a 27-year veteran with the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms, the beeping Easter Eggs weren’t all that difficult to make. Each egg consists of a switch, a piezo beeper, a 9-volt battery, and a battery clip inside of a large plastic egg.
That first year, David says he made 40 eggs, which took about 20 minutes each, and cost only around $14 per egg. Eleven visually impaired children, including his daughter, showed up to his first Beeping Easter Egg Hunt nine years ago, and the tradition has only grown since then.
In 2007, according to the International Association of Bomb Technicians and Investigators, of which Hyche is a member, and whose members help with the building of the eggs, 150 children showed up to the egg hunt. In 2009 two separate events had to be held to accommodate everyone. This year, there were three events in David’s town of Birmingham, Alabama, and with the help of the IABTI, he sponsors similar Easter Egg hunts across the country
Easter isn’t the only time Hyche’s innovative eggs get used, however.
“A lot of schools for the blind use the eggs year-round to teach kids how to locate things because it teaches them to use a logical pattern to search. It’s teaching these kids independence. It’s not just an Easter egg hunt like it is for other people.”
These days, Rachel is 10-years-old, and she can Easter Egg hunt with the best of them. The proud father recounted a story to ABC News of his favorite photo of his daughter. It shows her dropping her cane and sprinting across a field to the sound of beeping eggs.
[Image Credit: ABC News]