White Cane Safety Day, which is also known as White Cane Awareness Day) is observed every year on October 15th. The mission of White Cane Day is to promote awareness of blindness and visual impairment. It is also a time to celebrate the abilities and successes achieved by people with visual impairments in a sighted world and to honor the many contributions being made by the blind and visually impaired. In addition, White Cane Day provides an opportunity to demonstrate to the world some of the ways in which individuals who are blind or visually impaired live and work independently, while giving back to their communities.
History of White Cane Day
On October 6, 1964, a joint resolution of the Congress, HR 753, was signed into law authorizing the President of The United States of America to proclaim October 15th of each year as "White Cane Safety Day." The resolution read, "Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives that the President is hereby authorized to issue annually a proclamation designating October 15th as White Cane Safety Day and calling upon the people of the United States of America to observe such a day with appropriate ceremonies and activities." President Lyndon B. Johnson was the first to proclaim October 15th as White Cane Safety Day.
Activity Ideas for White Cane Day
White Cane Day Walk
Orientation and Mobility instructors and students often gather with teachers, family members, and others to meet in a central location and walk through town. This is a great way to raise visibility and awareness of the independence that many have when traveling with a white cane.
Ask Your Local Government to Issue a White Cane Awareness Day Proclamation
NFB has a template on their website that can be used for this.
Make a White Cane Pointer, shared here by TVI Liz Eagan.
TVI Courtney Franz makes mini canes using white golf pencils, red and black electrical tape and rope elastic. Everything to make 48 pencil canes can be purchased for under $20 from Amazon.
Tell us what activity ideas you have! We'd love to add more examples here.
More Information on White Cane Day
- White Cane Awareness: A History of White Cane Safety Day (Vision Aware)
- White Cane Awareness Day (National Federation of the Blind)
- White Cane Safety Day (Lions Club)
- The History of White Cane Day (New Jersey Council of the Blind)
- Presidential Proclamation -- White Cane Safety Day