White Cane Day event scheduled for Monday

By By Natalie Stewart / American Press

For the blind a white cane is “a symbol of independence,” accomplishment and normalcy, Cathy Miller said.

Mayor Randy Roach is proclaiming Monday as “White Cane Day” in Lake Charles to celebrate the achievements of the blind.

Miller, an organizer of the event, said the white cane is “one thing that makes the blind like everyone else.”

“With the white cane and the proper training, we can live normal, productive lives,” she said. “One part of the training gives

us the ability to use the white cane to find our way and travel independently in the community.”

Miller said this is the first time in the 15 years that the local chapter of the National Federation of the Blind has been

established that an event like this is being held.

She said the event is important to help the public identify with the blind.

“The public is not familiar with

blindness, and October is also Meet the Blind Month,” she said. “So many

people are not aware

of the implications of blindness, and there is a lot of

misunderstanding and misconception about what the blind can and cannot

do.

“We are people too. We have families and jobs. I think it’s important for the public to meet people who are blind and get

to know and understand them.”

State Rep. A.B. Franklin, D-Lake Charles, will be at the event to talk about the White Cane Law, a state law enabling the

blind to fully participate in social and economic life.

Miller said Franklin will talk about the history of the law and how it has changed the lives of the blind.

She said this year is also the year the organization has chosen to “reinvent” itself.

“We are recruiting new members, we are going public more, and we are embracing the community more,” she said. “We chose downtown

as the place to hold the event because it is also being reinvented right now, and we thought it fit well with the downtown

development that is going on.”

The event will be at 2 p.m. Monday at Nobless Oblige Tea House, 326 Iris St.