ABVI Celebrates 47th Annual National White Cane Day

Event celebrating the white cane as a symbol of independence for people who are blind or visually impaired will be held throughout the day at ABVI

The Association for the Blind and Visually Impaired (ABVI) is holding a celebration to mark the 47th National White Cane Day. ABVI's White Cane Day celebration will take place on Friday, October 14, 2011 from 7:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. at its 422 S. Clinton Avenue location in Rochester.

"The white cane signifies so much for someone who is blind or visually impaired. It shows that they can get around, that they can be successful in their own lives and be active members in the community. Having a day to shine the light on the white cane and hopefully educate and raise awareness of this is great," says Kasey Hopper, Certified Orientation and Mobility Specialist at ABVI.

According to Hopper, ABVI's White Cane Day celebration will provide the opportunity for people with vision loss who use a white cane to have it "tuned up," including having it checked for safety and retaped to enhance it's reflective white finish at no charge. Additional mobility-related items will be on display for people to try and/or purchase.

"Like a car, the white cane a person is using will be tuned up and ready to go to get him or her where they need to go," says Hopper.

Instructing people who are blind or visually impaired in the skills that empower them to get where they need to go is a key part of the person-centered services ABVI offers. Specifically, ABVI's Certified Orientation and Mobility Specialists provide training in the use of the white cane that includes traveling a simple route to safely navigating more intricate paths.

"The white cane identifies a person as someone who is blind or visually impaired and also allows her or him to preview the environment. The environmental information aids the individual in deciding how to proceed along their route," says Nikki Llewellyn, Certified Orientation and Mobility Specialist at ABVI.

Through the training process, notes Llewellyn, ABVI's Certified Orientation and Mobility Specialists hope to alleviate some of the stress people who are blind or visually impaired may be feeling by teaching the individual or family safe travel techniques.

"We take great care in making sure that someone is confident, safe, comfortable and successful," says Jennifer Stratton, Certified Orientation and Mobility Specialist at ABVI.

More information about ABVI's White Cane Day celebration is available by calling the agency at (585) 232-1111.