KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Children and teachers celebrated their independence on Thursday and visited people in the community on ‘White Cane Safety Day.’
About 70 students and teachers went on a walk, using their canes during their visits to KCPT, Conklin Fangman Cadillac Buick GMC, Lufti’s Fried Fish, LaMar’s Donuts, Crown Center and Indigo Wild.
“The plan is to walk a few blocks and back, handing out treats and raising awareness,” Lisa Lind, CCVI’s Director of Children/Family Services said. “We want Kansas City to see its young blind and visually impaired children are learning to travel safely.”
“Many of our children who are blind or visually impaired use a white cane as an identifier to let people know they have a visual impairment; also it detects obstacles and drop-offs in their way and it’s a great travel tool to help keep them independent,” said Pam Arbeiter, teacher of visually impaired at CCVI.
White Cane Safety Day is a national observance in the United States, celebrated on October 15 of each year since 1964. Since Oct. 15 falls on Saturday, CCVI chose Oct. 13 to celebrate.
“The cane is a great way to keep someone independent as opposed to being dependent on someone else and having to hold their hand. Our children are little and sometimes it’s easy to parents to feel like they want to coddle to keep them safe and so we’re trying to help them be as independent as possible and really encourage parents that it’s okay and they have a way to keep them safe whenever they’re out playing and being independent and just being children,” Arbeiter said.