White Cane Safety Day is a national observance in the United States, celebrated on October 15 of each year since 1964. It celebrates the achievements of people who are blind or visually impaired and the white cane—an important symbol of blindness and tool of independence. While the white cane helps keep blind people safe (because drivers and other pedestrians can easily see it), it is also a tool that blind people use to explore and navigate the environment. Blind people use their senses of hearing and touch to explore and understand the world around them. The white cane allows people to avoid obstacles, find steps and curbs, locate and step over cracks or uneven places in the sidewalk, find doorways, get into cars and buses, and much more. When you see a person using a white cane, remember that the white cane is their tool to safely and independently navigate the environment. There’s no need to shout warnings or try to physically steer them so that the cane won’t bump into things. Remember that the cane is used specifically to explore what is around them. If they need any help or direction, they will ask.
White Cane Day Seattle Events
Take part in the White Cane Day Walk (google.com) in Seattle. Registration is encouraged and free. The approximately 1-mile walk in downtown Seattle begins at the Space Needle (400 Broad St) and ends at WTBBL: Washington Talking Book and Braille Library (2021 9th Ave).
- At the end of the walk, WTBBL will host a reception for vendors providing information such as cane fixing, wayfinding apps, and human guides. Vendors include Department of Services for the Blind, DeafBlind Service Center, Lighthouse for the Blind, National Federation of the Blind, and Washington Council of the Blind.
- Bring any old, unused canes with you to donate to the “You Cane Give” Initiative. Wondering what to do with that old cane you no longer use? Is that closet full of used canes collecting dust and taking up space? Donate your old canes to the “You Cane Give” program and turn that old cane into newfound independence for individuals in need.
Purchase White Cane Day Merch | Celebrate Independence! | Bonfire. All items are sold at cost and no profit is made by event organizers. Note that swag is available online only; none will be sold at the walk or vendor reception.
More info: White Cane Day Walk | Facebook
Post expires on Sunday October 16th, 2022