WHITE CANE SAFETY DAY

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15th October is a national observance day set aside to observe the White Cane Safety Day, with an aim of celebrating people who are visually impaired and raising awareness of people who carry a white cane.

The day was established by President Lyndon B. Johnson in 1964. In 2011, White Cane Safety Day was also named Blind Americans Equality Day by President Barack Obama.     

The white cane is a mobility tool used by those who are visually impaired. It helps people with vision loss or low vision to maneuver so that they can avoid obstacles along the road.

There are different types of canes i.e. the long cane and white canes which are used for different purposes.

Long cane which also called the Hoover cane, is the most commonly used cane for people with visual impairment. It is used todetect obstacles on the road and some people use it for long journeys. The long cane is the most preferable for independent travels.

The Guide caneis a shorter cane used to identify a step or dent on any surface. It is also used to warn people about their visual impairment and can be used by people who have a difficulty in determining depth perception and surface changes.

The symbol cane is a short cane which is intended to be used to indicate to others that you have a visual impairment, they are a visual aid rather than a mobility one.

White cane is used by people who are totally blind. It has a solid metal tip and a smooth, white finish. These canes are available in different lengths, allowing the blind to find the most convenient one. Some of the canes can be folded to allow easy storage.

The Red and White cane howeverindicates that a person using it is deaf and visually impaired. Those with a low vision use the White cane with red bottom.

As a way of celebrating the white cane day, people participate in white cane walks.

Often, canes and blindfolds are provided to those participants who can see so that they experience what it is like to be a visually impaired pedestrian as they take part in the walk.

Moreover, the day can also be used to celebrate the achievements of people who are visually impaired. This will encourage them to keep pushing harder.

BY STACY EDITH.

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