White Cane Safety Day Celebrated on Maui

Group photo of Maui Lions Club and AILH staff with Mayor Arakawa

AILH and the Maui Lions Club were recognized by Mayor Alan Arakawa (second from left)

 

On Monday, October 15th, Aloha Independent Living Hawaii along with Lions Clubs of Maui and Project Vision, celebrated White Cane Safety Day outside of the State Office Building on High Street in Wailuku. The white (or red and white) cane is a symbol of independence and blindness. The white cane allows an individual who is legally blind to travel with increased safety and independence. In 1930, the Lions Club began promoting the use of white canes for people who are blind as identification for special travel consideration.  Since 1964 by Joint Resolution of Congress, October 15th is recognized nationally as “White Cane Safety Day.”

 

On Maui the special celebration included a Proclamation by Mayor Alan Arakawa. Members of the Vision Impairment and Blindness Education and Peer Support Group, community members, and representatives from various human service agencies gathered together to listen to the Mayor followed by AILH Executive Director, Roxanne Bolden who came over from Oahu to share her words of welcome. Kristi Ota, President of Maui Lions Club gave a bit of history about their organization and support of those with vision and hearing loss. Blair Jimenez from Project Vision invited everyone to visit the Project Vision van for a free vision screening and reading glasses.

 

Just as it began to rain, white canes were distributed to those who didn’t have a cane, but wanted to experience walking with a cane. Everyone lined up behind a White Cane Awareness banner carried by Lions members who led the way for a short walk down Main Street and around the state building. The rain let up just as the group finished back at the state building for refreshments and socializing. It was a great way to educate the community about the white cane and the law which allows pedestrians, who are legally blind and carrying a cane, the right of way at street crossings.

 

 

 

Hawaii State Law Section 347-17
Driver of vehicle, caution. Any driver of a vehicle shall, on approaching a person who is blind or visually handicapped, and is carrying or using an exposed cane or walking stick which is painted white in color or painted white tipped with red, or a person who is blind or visually handicapped and using a guide dog, take such reasonable precautions before proceeding as may be necessary to avoid an accident or injury to the blind or visually handicapped person.

 

 

 

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