White Cane Safety Awareness Day Celebration – Oct 14, 2016

BENNINGTON, Vt. – Bennington will celebrate this year’s 52nd annual White Cane Safety Awareness Day on Friday, October 14th at the VT Department of Health (CCV Building) at 324 Main Street, Suite 2.

The white cane is a symbol of strength and independence for blind and visually impaired people. This year’s celebration, which begins at 11 a.m. in the Community Room, will include an experiential walk. Participants of all ages and backgrounds will have the opportunity to use the white cane as they walk through downtown Bennington, learning first-hand what it is like to make their way in the world as a blind or visually-impaired person.  The walk will be followed by a reception in the Community Room.  Light refreshments will be served. All are welcome.

The walk and celebration are being sponsored by the State of Vermont Division for the Blind and Visually Impaired (DBVI) and the Vermont Association for the blind and Visually Impaired (VABVI).

According to the American Council of the Blind, the white cane was first introduced in the United States in 1931 by a member of Lions Club International after he saw an individual crossing a busy street with a black cane that seemed to be extremely difficult for motorists to notice.  On October 6, 1964, Congress passed a joint resolution to grant the President of the United States the power to proclaim October 15th of each year as White Cane Safety Awareness Day.  President Lyndon B. Johnson proclaimed the first White Cane Safety Day within hours of the passage of the resolution. Since its inception, White Cane Safety Day has both celebrated the white cane and brought awareness to those who are not familiar with what it is like to travel under the guidance of the white cane.

For more information about this year’s White Cane Day celebration in Bennington, contact:  Carol Wood, Vermont Division for the Blind & Visually Impaired, 802-786-5822 or carol.wood@vermont.gov.