Did you know that tomorrow (October 15th) is International White Cane Safety Day? Beginning in 1931, the Lions Club introduced white canes – the “symbol of independence” – to identify people who are visually impaired and thereby increase their visibility to motorists and fellow pedestrians as a means to improve their safety.
It is estimated that 109,000 of the 1.3 million legally blind people in the United States use a white cane. The National Federation of the Blind believes that independence and freedom to travel are so important to the quality of life that every blind person should have a cane, regardless of ability to pay. By supplying canes free of charge, this program provides the opportunity for all blind Americans to have a white cane and to participate fully in society.
Even though it’s a bit rainy here, The Vermont Association for the Blind & Visually Impaired and the Division for the Blind & Visually Impaired are planning a walk through downtown Rutland, VT today in order to help bring awareness to this important issue. How is your community marking White Cane Safety Day?