• Ivy Street School
  • Adult Disability Services

October is White Cane Awareness Month

October is White Cane Safety Awareness Month, to raise understanding and awareness of orientation and mobility tools for individuals who are blind and visually impaired.

Annual White Cane Safety Day 2015 is on October 13. Join MABVI and the Massachusetts Commission for the Blind (MCB) from 10am to Noon at the State House in Boston, MA, to celebrate independence and raise awareness!

About White Cane Law

The white cane allows a person who is blind to travel independently. In 1931, Lions Clubs began promoting the use of white canes for people who are blind as a national identification program. All states and many other countries have White Cane laws, which allow pedestrians who are legally blind the right of way at street crossings. Massachusetts White Cane Law states that all motorists, upon seeing a pedestrian who uses a dog guide or white cane at a street crossing, must come to a complete stop.

In recognition of International White Cane Day, here are a few guidelines regarding how to interact with someone who is blind or visually impaired:

  • When in doubt, ask if the person needs assistance.
  • Do not grab the person, cane or dog guide.
  • Do not pet a dog guide. Most dog guides are working & should not be petted since it can be distracting for the dog.
  • Identify yourself when you come in to a room and let the person know when you are leaving a room or location.
  • When you speak about someone with a disability, refer to the person and then to the disability. For example, refer to "a person who is blind" rather than to "a blind person."
  • Always yield to white cane and dog guide users at street crossings - it's the law!

Contact Us

MAB Community Services
200 Ivy Street
Brookline, MA 02446
  • P 617-738-5110
  • F 617-738-1247

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