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National White Cane day on tap

By Staff | Oct 10, 2011

National White Cane Safety day is Oct. 15. Every year, it is observed and often celebrated by blind and visually impaired people throughout the United States in many way by communities, organizations and individual people.

What is it all about?

The white cane was established as a symbol of independence for people who are blind in the early 1930s. Soon after, the guide dog was added as a recognized mobility aid to increase the the independence and safety of people who are blind / visually impaired as they walk through their communities, travel to other cities and even abroad. In 1963, Oct. 15 was designated to be the day of celebration and recognition. Although it is not a federal holiday, it is recognized by many.

In the 1930s, pedestrian laws began to be established. There are provisions in the Pedestrian Law that requires the driver who sees that person with a white cane or guide dog at a cross walk to come to a complete stop, wait until they have navigated across the street, and then move out with the traffic. Did you know this? Do you do it?

Those of us using this symbol of independence thank you each time you do-whether out loud or in person because it is one more time we know we can cross a street safely.

In recognition of this important day, the Tri-county Chapter of Mountain State Council of the Blind (an affiliate of American Council of the Blind, the largest advocacy organization of the blind) will be celebrating. On Saturday, Oct. 15. We will walk with our white canes and guide dogs for a two-mile walk down Raleigh Street in Martinsburg, W.Va.

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