Braille Monitor                                                                                January 1986



White Cane Safety Day:
Informing the

by Ronald Greene

The following article appeared as a guest column in the October 13, 1985, Boone (Iowa) News Republican Ronald Greene is one of the leaders of the Iowa affiliate. What he says (though well written) is not news to most Federationists, but the column was not written for Federationists. It was written for the general public. We reprint it to underscore the kind of ongoing, everyday activity which builds an affiliate, creates good will and understanding, and educates the public.

Tuesday is White Cane Safety Day in Iowa.

The 1979 Code of Iowa provides that each blind citizen has the right to carry the white cane. The cane demonstrates and symbolizes the ability to achieve a full and independent life and the capacity to work productively in competitive employment.

Iowa law also requires motor vehicle operators to exercise appropriate caution when encountering blind pedestrians.

State and federal law prohibit discrimination based on blindness and support equal opportunity and affirmative action programs to encourage employment of blind people in the competitive labor force.

The Central Iowa Chapter of the National Federation of the Blind of Iowa is a small energetic chapter spread across Boone, Greene, and Story counties.

Members meet monthly and communicate by telephone between meetings.

A child's cane bank is one important project we have helped our state affiliate develop. We started the cane bank in April, 1984, with an initial donation from the Windsor Heights Lions Club and contributions from other clubs and individuals.

The child's cane bank provides free white canes to all children.

The cane is a tool blind individuals use to learn about the area in which they are walking. By holding the cane in front and moving it from left to right, the blind person can become aware of obstacles in his or her path.

Using a cane (like learning to spell or roller skate) is a skill that must be practiced.

Blind people today travel independently. White Cane Safety Day emphasizes the modern travel techniques blind people use.

White Cane Safety Day is a day to celebrate the accomplishments of blind people.