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Sunset Celebrates White Cane Day and Blind Awareness Month

Sunset Celebrates White Cane Day and Blind Awareness Month

Posted by Elizabeth Egan on 19 October, 2018

On the morning of October 15, Sunset Elementary started the day with a very special announcement from three of its students, Janhavi, Leo, and Journey, who are part of the vision program at Sunset. The ISD Vision Department provides services to students with blindness/visual impairments. Sunset Elementary houses the site-based Vision Program, which is staffed with Teachers of Students with Blindness/Visual Impairments, an Orientation & Mobility (O&M) Specialist, & Braillists.

Each student took their turn on the morning announcements with excitement, explaining what White Cane Day is in front of their peers, parents, and special guest Superintendent Thiele. The students read from a braille assistive device and also from large text print offs:

“Did you know that the month of October is Blind Awareness Month? October 15th is International White Cane Day. White Cane Day is a day to celebrate independence & the accomplishments of people with blindness & low vision. The white cane represents independence. If you see someone with a white cane you will know that they’re independent. If you see a white cane lying on the playground, please do not move it. They are not toys, but tools to help us move safely within our environment.

“Orientation and mobility, usually called O&M for short, teaches people with blindness or low vision the important skills for moving around safely, independently, and efficiently. Orientation means knowing where you are in space, and mobility means moving safely from place to place. White Cane Day began in 1964, thanks to President Lyndon B. Johnson. It is celebrated every year on October 15.

“Be sure to check out our White Cane Day poster by the vision room! Happy White Cane Day, Sunset!”

After the morning announcements Janhavi, Leo, and Journey led their family members and staff down to their classroom hallway, where O&M Specialist Sara Zachariah had created a white cane from craft paper on the wall to bring more awareness to this special day. By the display was a sign stating “Orientation & Mobility Proclamation! If you think people with blindness or low vision are INDEPENDENT, please sign the white cane!” Superintendent Thiele, Principal Mandy Dorey, teachers, staff, and parents joined the three students in signing their names on the paper cane.

Thank you Sunset for hosting a wonderful morning for White Cane Day and Blind Awareness Month!