Pedestrian Safety for All
October 15 is White Cane Safety Day. In recognition, the Foundation for Blind Children is hosting our annual White Cane Walk to advocate for pedestrian safety in our communities. As we lead up to the event, we also want to spread the word of why these tools are so important to the blind and visually impaired community. They keep us safe, give us confidence, and serve as a symbol to those around us.
In a world where sight is taken for granted, the white cane serves as a vital tool for people living with vision loss. White canes empower blind and visually impaired people to lead independent lives. Canes are simple, yet effective tools that help their users navigate their surroundings more safely. They also serve as a symbol of the blind and visually impaired community—a symbol of freedom, confidence, and inclusivity.
White Canes as Mobility Aids
White Canes are designed to protect their user from obstacles in their path. By sweeping across the ground or tapping the cane in front of each
footstep, a visually impaired traveler can gather more information about their surroundings. Canes are an extension of a person’s sense of touch, allowing them to feel the ground far enough ahead of them to react. Canes can help discover steps, cracks in the pavement, obstacles in the path, and so much more.
Gathering this extra information is important for the cane user to be able to explore their world safer and with more confidence. Canes help their users live their lives with more freedom. Whether it’s traveling to work, going to the grocery store or getting around a school, a cane lets its user explore the world.
Canes are a Symbol
The white cane is a universal symbol of the blind and visually impaired community. It is an easily recognizable signal that lets others know that someone is visually impaired. Though some folks may think that signaling their disability can be isolating, it can also help foster inclusion. It’s not a symbol of weakness or simply of disability.
Travelling with a white cane is a sign of strength. It means independence. It means equality and empowerment.
It also gives sighted folks a reminder to slow down in their cars, so blind pedestrians can be safer. That is why we celebrate White Cane Safety Day. We want to show our neighbors that we are a part of their communities.