(Special to the American Press)
Last Modified: Saturday, October 13, 2012 8:14 PM
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.