White Cane Day here
EACH year on October 15, Vision Australia and the blind community celebrate International White Cane Day. The white cane is a recognised mobility aid that indicates the user is blind or has low vision.
What most people don’t know is that the majority of people who use a white cane have some level of vision, and are not totally blind.
We celebrate the positive impact the white cane has for many people who are blind or have low vision.
But a misunderstanding over what a white cane user can and cannot see gives rise to discrimination. Vision Australia conducted a survey from June-July 2015.
The results revealed that more than half of white cane users responding to the survey had experienced negative comments or behaviour while using their white cane in the community.
The majority of white cane users had this experience in a shop, cafe or restaurant. More than half had this experience while on public transport.
While our research reveals discrimination against white cane users, the majority of the public have a great deal of understanding and respect.
We encourage everyone to celebrate the difference that white canes have made to the blindness and low-vision community. MARYANNE DIAMOND, general manager