October 13, 2020

October Celebrates White Cane Dog Guide Safety Awareness

- Future In Sight

Blind Woman walking with her service dog and cane

It was 1964 when President Lyndon Johnson, under joint resolution of Congress, proclaimed October 15th to be White Cane Safety Day – a day that recognizes and celebrates the achievements of people who are blind or visually impaired.

In 2011, President Barack Obama shifted the name, proclaiming October 15th as Blind Americans Equality Day. Calling upon public officials, business and community leaders, educators, librarians and Americans across the county to observe this day with appropriate ceremonies, activities and programs. Last October, President Trump again proclaimed the 15th as 2019 Blind Americans Equality Day.

New Hampshire goes one step further and declares the month of October to be White Cane and Dog Guide Users Awareness Month. This annual month-long tribute highlights and honors these two unique symbols of blindness and the independence each provides to those NH residents living with low vision or blindness.

Even more than the symbol of that it is, for blind people, the white cane is an essential tool that provides the ability to achieve a full and independent life, one critical tool in navigating the world – at home, at work, in the community. The use and mastery of the white cane comes first, as one prerequisite to qualifying for matching with a dog guide.

In celebration of this month-long recognition in New Hampshire individuals are sharing their thoughts about the importance of these important aspects of their lives. We hope you enjoy the videos in the playlist below from local NH residents. In this first video, Randi shares a little glimpse into her life with her guide dog (Dharma), and how that impacts her life. If you keep watching, several more videos will play automatically.