October 15, 2015

Kate Describes Her Use of the White Cane

- Future In Sight

a man using a white tip cane walking across the street

I use a white cane at times because I have low vision.  Some people think the white cane is used only by people who are blind, but it is also used by people like me, who are visually impaired.

Kate WhiteCaneOctober 15th is White Cane Safety Day. It is a day that brings attention about why the use of the white cane is important for people who are blind or visually impaired to maintain their independence.

It will let them know if there are things or people in their path.  Some people who are blind or visually impaired use a white cane all the time, especially if they are in a new environment. If they are in a familiar environment, they may not need to use the cane as much.

If you see a person with a white cane crossing the street, it is the law that the driver should bring his or her car to a full stop at least 10 feet from the crosswalk. Some cars stop so far away from the crosswalk that it is difficult to tell if the driver is stopped and where they are stopped.

If a person with a white cane looks like they need help, please ask them. Sometimes they will say yes, and sometimes they will say no, but the offer of help is always appreciated!

People who are blind or visually impaired may have difficulty with recognizing faces, small print, or colors or their vision may vary on different days or with different lighting. We may have to do things differently but want to be treated just like everyone else.

Thank you for reading about why white canes are so important for us.

-Kate Enneper