TreeTops launch for Guide Dogs’ Cane Do cam­paign

The Coffs Coast Advocate - - NEWS -

WHAT bet­ter way to test your boundaries than to scale new heights.

In the lead-up to In­ter­na­tional White Cane Day, chil­dren with sight loss took their mo­bil­ity skills, in­de­pen­dence and self-con­fi­dence to new lev­els at Coffs Har­bour’s TreeTops Ad­ven­ture Park.

These kids, who may one day go on to use a Guide Dog, are learn­ing skills to help them move around their com­mu­nity safely and in­de­pen­dently us­ing white canes.

New re­search from two dif­fer­ent sur­veys has re­vealed the Aus­tralian pub­lic mis­un­der­stand how to best as­sist peo­ple who are blind or who have sight loss.

Two thirds of peo­ple who use white canes have been grabbed or han­dled by a mem­ber of the pub­lic even though they didn’t ask for help, ac­cord­ing to a new na­tional client sur­vey by Guide Dogs Aus­tralia.

A sim­i­lar num­ber of peo­ple who use white canes also re­ported that peo­ple talk to their sighted com­pan­ions in­stead of them di­rectly.

Guide Dogs Aus­tralia is launch­ing the Cane Do com­mu­nity aware­ness cam­paign, re­mind­ing mem­bers of the com­mu­nity what they ‘cane do’ to help peo­ple with a white cane nav­i­gate pub­lic spa­ces in a safe and in­de­pen­dent way. De­tails www.guide­dogs.com.au

Photo: Trevor Veale

TREETOPS: Fiona Hen­wood, from Guide Dogs NSW, with Tyler at the Sealy Look­out ad­ven­ture park.

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