October is a month of celebration! National Disability Employment Awareness and National Hispanic Heritage Month are two examples, and let’s not forget Halloween.
White Cane Day is October 15 and falls right in the middle of the month. It is a day of extreme significance for people who are blind as the white cane is more than just a symbol but is also a tool that provides safety as well as independence. Where some prefer the use of a dog guide, all travel training begins with learning to use this simple but effective white cane. Individuals with vision loss have been traveling for a very long time but the typical white cane is a relatively new development as it really was developed after World War II. Without the need for electricity or a cell signal it can detect obstacles and drop-offs, and alert drivers to your presence as a blind or low-vision traveler.
Here are some resources and fun links in celebration of White Cane Day:
- If your children are learning to use a white cane, now their dolls can, too! Check out this great blog post from a mom who bought a doll-sized white cane from an enterprising Etsy creator: Our Girl Just Got a White Cane!
- This recent article highlights some important orientation and mobility strategies for getting around school buildings.
- If your child is just getting start on orientation and mobility skills, check our directory for agencies that provide travel and O&M training to children.
- Some children with low vision may be resistant to using a white cane. One mom and daughter shared with us their struggles, and how they integrated it into the child’s school routine.
- Another parent’s perspective: And Cane Makes Three.
- Sometimes it is a struggle to get our kids the training they need. Emily wrote about her efforts to get Eddie instruction in orientation and mobility skills, and how satisfying it was to see him making process once he had a good instructor, in Have Cane, Will Travel.
AFB’s entire family of sites is celebrating White Cane Day:
- VisionAware has a blog post celebrating the day, as well as a post that gives history and information about the cane as it is used in Orientation and Mobility.
- CareerConnect also has a blog post celebrating the importance of White Cane Day.
After all this reading, it would be great to have your child grab their cane and go for a stroll to demonstrate just what we are talking about. How are you planning to celebrate White Cane Day?