Friday October 5, 2012

BRATTLEBORO - The fifth annual White Cane Awareness Day event will take place on Monday, Oct. 15, at the Brattleboro Common across from Park Place to promote recognition of the growing independence and self-sufficiency of blind people in America and the white cane as a symbol of that independence and self-reliance.

The event will begin at 3 p.m. with a brief walk using Brattleboro’s accessible and safe pedestrian sidewalks on the roads near the Common. Refreshments and information about community resources will be provided before and after the walk. A limited supply of free T-shirts will be available to participants.

White Cane Safety Day was authorized by President Lyndon B. Johnson in 1964 after advocacy by the National Federation of the Blind gained congressional approval the year before. In his proclamation, President Johnson commended the blind for the growing spirit of independence and the increased determination to be self-reliant that the organized blind had shown. The Presidential proclamation said, in part, that the annual reminder would make "people more fully aware of the meaning of the white cane and of the need for motorists to exercise special care for the blind persons who carry it."

The White Cane Awareness Day Walk is free and open to the public. This event is sponsored by the Vermont Association for the Blind and Visually Impaired (VABVI) and Vermont’s Division for the Blind and Visually Impaired. For more information, call 802-254-8761.