National White Cane Safety Day - October 15
Sat, Oct 15, 2022

National White Cane Safety Day

Every year, National White Cane Safety Day is celebrated on October 15th to honor people who are blind or visually impaired. The white cane is a symbol of the struggle of these people for their rights and security, for acceptable living conditions and the opportunity to be useful to society. Today there are more than 270 million people with visual impairments in the world, and therefore it is important not to ignore this holiday and attract everyone’s attention in it.

History

Canes, staffs and sticks have long been used by visually impaired and blind people as an auxiliary means of transportation. In the 20th century, white canes came into use, which blind people used as an identification sign that they had vision problems.

Supposedly, the concept of white canes was conceived in 1921 by Bristol photographer James Biggs, who was blinded in an accident. In those years, the number of cars on the roads was increasing, and to protect himself, Biggs decided to paint his cane white. Thanks to this, motorists could notice from a distance that a person with a cane was crossing the road, and, therefore, they should slow down.

In 1931 in France, Guilly d’Herbemont founded a program called the National Movement of the White Sticks. During this program, white canes were given to blind Frenchmen, among whom were veterans of the First World War. Soon, the United Kingdom joined the program, thus making white canes a universally recognized symbol of visually impaired citizens. In the United States, in 1964, Congress, along with President Lyndon B. Johnson, signed a resolution establishing National White Cane Safety Day.

Interesting facts

  • in 1944, Richard E. Hoover, who worked at Valley Forge Army Hospital, developed his own “long cane” method;
  • if a person holds a white cane with a red tip in his hands, then this means that in front of you is not only a blind, but a deaf person;
  • for the manufacture of the cane, it was decided to use materials such as aluminum, carbon and fiberglass, so that they remain strong, but light;
  • according to the rules of the road, if a motorist sees a pedestrian with a white cane, then the car should be stopped at least 10 feet from this person.

How to celebrate

Today there are millions of people in the world who have problems with the main sense organ – the eyes. On the occasion of the national day, you can read about how exactly you can help this category of the population, make donations to charitable foundations and organizations that provide support for blindness. You can also give white canes to friends who have very poor eyesight, because this will help them feel more confident in the city and near busy highways.

When is National White Cane Safety Day celebrated in 2022?

National White Cane Safety Day is observed on October 15 each year.

Observations

Weekday Month Day Year
Saturday October 15 2022
Sunday October 15 2023
Tuesday October 15 2024
Wednesday October 15 2025
Thursday October 15 2026

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