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White Cane Day

LightHouse Observes White Cane Day with Mayor London Breed

On Tuesday, October 15, LightHouse celebrated White Cane Day. Eighty-seven LightHouse ambassadors, visitors and staff gathered to talk about the white cane as a tool for blind independence. San Francisco Mayor London Breed joined us and talked about San Francisco’s commitment to making the city a great place for seniors and people with disabilities to live and work. After her remarks, LightHouse received an official proclamation from the Mayor’s Office declaring October 15, 2019 as White Cane Day. Afterwards, the LightHouse group marched to City Hall to create awareness about the white cane and blind pedestrian safety.

Mayor London Breed
San Francisco Mayor London Breed holds a tactile map of the White Cane Day route to City Hall. Photo by Caitlin O’Malior.

The event was highlighted in the San Francisco Chronicle and profiled on ABC7’s evening news broadcast.

LightHouse O&M instructors, some wearing Safe Streets t-shirts.
LightHouse celebrates White Cane Day on steps of San Francisco City Hall.
LightHouse friends, many wearing “my cane is my right-of-way” t-shirts, stand on the steps in front of San Francisco’s City Hall holding the LightHouse banner. Photo by Sarika Dagar.

Many White Cane Day participants wore t-shirts designed in partnership with the Vision Zero SF Safe Streets project. Vision Zero SF is committed to eliminating traffic fatalities by 2024 in San Francisco, by educating the public about traffic safety and adopting policy changes that will save lives. The t-shirts come in orange, black and white. The front of the shirts show two blind pedestrians drawn in outline in a crosswalk, using their canes. A car is stopped outside the crosswalk at a stop sign. Words, above, read “My cane is my right-of-way.” On the back of the shirts, it reads, “My Cane is my right-of-way.” in English, Spanish, Chinese and Tagalog.

In celebration of White Cane Awareness Month, white canes are 10% off at our Adaptations Store for walk-in customers for the entire month of October! Visit us at on the 10th floor of 1155 Market in San Francisco. Store hours are Monday through Friday, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. We’re also open on the second Saturday, October 12, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Celebrate White Cane Day and meet Mayor London Breed

Calling all members of the blind community, friends and allies. Tuesday, October 15 is White Cane Day. Celebrate and promote safety awareness at LightHouse Headquarters as we meet Mayor London Breed and walk to City Hall. Bring your canes or dog guides and be seen.

When: Tuesday, October 15, 2019, 10:00 to 11:30 a.m.
Where: Meet at LightHouse Headquarters on the 10th floor.
Light refreshments will be served before the walk.

We’ll get things started with a 30-minute welcome meeting at LightHouse Headquarters on the 10th floor to talk about the importance of the white cane, LightHouse’s involvement with the Safe Streets for Seniors project and pedestrian safety in the city. San Francisco Mayor London Breed will be there to say hello.

PHOTO: In a photo taken outdoors amongst a crowd of supporters, Mayor London Breed smiles broadly for the camera as she is hugged by a delighted young girl.

At 10:30, we’ll leave LightHouse as a group and walk proudly to City Hall and back to create awareness and visibility around the white cane and blind pedestrians. Photos will be taken, and we’ll be giving away free Safe Streets t-shirts (now in white!) to wear as you walk.

Please RVSP directly to Briana Kusuma at bkusuma@lighthouse-sf.org or 415.694.7335. If you’d like a new Safe Streets t-shirt, be sure to give us your shirt size. Or wear one you already have.

1n 1964, at the urging of the National Federation of the Blind and other organizations, the United States Congress adopted a joint resolution designating October 15 of each year as White Cane Safety Day, recognizing that white canes enable blind people to travel safely and independently.

Three ways to support blind people everywhere on White Cane Day

The worldwide event is October 15. Here’s what you can do to get involved.

Have a Story to Tell? Hashtag #MyWhiteCane

Do you remember the first time you held a white cane? How much do you really know about the white cane’s history and purpose? Did you know that the white cane is not a crude implement, a compromise or a scarllett letter – but a highly effective tool of empowerment?

Also known as White Cane Safety Day and declared Blind Americans Equality Day by President Barack Obama in 2011, October 15 is the day when, around the world, blind people and their allies take time out to celebrate blind achievement and one of the best pieces of technology that we know: this is what #WhiteCaneDay is all about. First recognized by the U.S. Congress in 1964, White Cane Day is part of a greater international push now known as Meet The Blind Month, White Cane Day is, for blind people or those with low vision, a time to shine.

Five things you might not know about the white cane:

  1. From toddlers to NBA players, canes come in all sizes, some as long as 6 feet tall.
  2. Some people tap their canes for the audio feedback, while others keep continuous contact with the ground. It’s a personal choice.
  3. Canes can have dozens of different tips: plastic, metal, round, flat, soft, hard and rolling – all serve different purposes and are appropriate in different environments.
  4. Some canes fold up, some telescope in, and some are rigid and do not shrink down at all – it’s also a personal choice.
  5. It is actually illegal for people who aren’t blind or visually impaired to walk in public with a white cane – so we never have to worry about impersonators!

If you are a cane user or an ally, please share this article in the lead up to October 15 to educate the world about how important the cane is to our confidence and indepdence.

Celebrate with LightHouse’s Safe Streets Ambassadors

The LightHouse Training Team, Safe Streets Ambassadors and community continue our quest to educate drivers and the general public into 2019 regarding the respect of blind and low vision travelers using their white cane.

“My Cane is My Right of Way” is our message, and the message is on our t-shirts. If you are able to join us for the hour, you will receive our “My cane is My Right of Way” for RVSPing and attending.  The morning of the 15th will begin at 10:00 am on the 10th floor with coffee and bagels (you will receive your t-shirt the day of the event) and head out to Market Street (in front of the LightHouse) where our education hits the streets.

When: October 15, 2018 at 10:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.

Where: in front of 1155 Market Street (meet at LightHouse HQ)

Who: Cane users and anyone who wants to help (we’ll be flyering!)

RSVP: Email Briana Kusuma at BKusuma@lighthouse-sf.org.

Happy #WhiteCaneDay! And as a promotion, we are offering 15% off on canes and cane accessories for the whole month of October at Adaptations.

Celebrate White Cane Safety Day with 10% off Canes at Adaptations

LightHouse Information and Referral Specialist Frank Welte holds a hand-lettered sign that states a white cane equals equality.White Cane Safety Day has been nationally observed in the United States since 1964 and is celebrated on October 15th each year. On this day we celebrate the achievements of people who are blind or visually impaired and the importance of the white cane, a symbol of blindness and a tool of independence.

In honor of National White Cane Safety Day on October 15th, mention the password “CANE-DO!” and you can get 10% off cane and cane accessory purchases. This includes our full line of canes, tips, holsters, and other accessories.

Adaptations, the LightHouse Store has numerous white canes to choose from including telescoping, straight and folding styles, ranging in size from 40” to 67”, and from brands including Advantage/Revolution, NFB, Ambutech, WCIB, and Rainshine.

A display of color accented canes.Now available to order from Adaptations: the new Ambutech Aluminum Color Accented canes, available with handles of hot pink, neon green, electric blue, or, for you Giants fans, bright orange. We currently have demo models of these canes for you to try; stop by the store and check them out!! And we are now accepting special orders, please let us know if you are interested in purchasing one.

Adaptations carries a wide variety of low-vision and blindness products, including talking watches and alarm clocks, games, kitchen products, braille supplies and much much more. Give us a call at (415) 694-7301 or stop by our store between 10am and 5pm Monday through Friday.