Oklahoma School for the Blind will be celebrating White Cane Safety Awareness Day on October 13. The school’s event will be held before national White Cane Safety Awareness Day, which is observed every year on October 15. This day recognizes the white cane’s significance in advancing independence for people who are blind and visually impaired.
“White Cane Day recognizes our students’ independence and mobility by celebrating this useful tool and its users,” OSB Superintendent Rita Echelle said. “The White Cane provides a mechanism for individuals who are blind or visually impaired to be on an equal footing with their peers.”
The school will be celebrating in Downtown Muskogee at Mural Park, 230 W. Broadway, at 1 p.m.
The students will walk a 15-minute route utilizing their white canes to navigate the downtown area safely. They will demonstrate proper cane technique, safe street crossings and travel awareness.
Members of the public are encouraged to participate or ask questions.
Oklahoma law requires drivers to completely stop their vehicles 15 feet away from pedestrians who are visually impaired and identified by their use of white canes with red tips or dog guides. People who violate this law are guilty of a misdemeanor punishable by imprisonment for up to three months or $100 fine or both.
Oklahoma law also stipulates that only blind people may carry white canes with or without red tips. These canes are internationally recognized as mobility aids for people with visual disabilities.
Legal blindness occurs when vision is 20/200 or less in the better eye with the best possible correction, or the visual field is restricted to 20 degrees or less.