WINNETKA, Ill., Oct. 13, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — White Cane Safety Day is celebrated every year on October 15. Established as a day of observation in 1964, it brings attention to the ability of those with vision loss to move about on their own while using this important tool and the general public’s need to be mindful of those using these canes to give them the right-of-way.
As distance learning experts for the past 100 years, Illinois-based Hadley serves those with vision loss by providing services at no cost. Following months of development, Hadley recently reenvisioned its online educational platform, Hadley.edu to include a wide selection of free how-to online workshops on topics, live support from experts, timely discussion groups on a variety topics and a new podcast on white cane safety, featuring Kellee Sanchez, an orientation and mobility specialist on how a white cane can provide independence and confidence to someone who is blind or low vision.
Since the onset of COVID-19, the white cane has become increasingly useful for those facing vision loss to be able to navigate on their own without relying upon the close proximity of a sighted guide, which could further increase their exposure to the novel coronavirus. It also serves to raise the general public’s awareness alerting those that the person using the white cane may not be able to see the markings on the floor or signs designed to manage social distancing.
“Those of us using a white cane in public are quite capable of navigating the world on our own,” says Douglas Walker, Hadley’s Director of Research and Development. “However, we may need a few words of guidance given today’s extremely unusual circumstances. Simply asking someone if they could use help and provide verbal directions, such as ‘the floor marker for this line is two steps back’ is just one way to be mindful to one another and the white cane really can keep us all safer.”
The mission of Hadley is to create personalized learning opportunities that empower adults with vision loss or blindness to thrive — at home, at work and in their communities. A 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation, Hadley relies on contributions from individuals, foundations, and corporations to fund its programs.
Contact: Joan Jaeger