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The HHSC Vision Loss and Older Adults Workgroup Members

First designated in 1968 by President Lyndon B. Johnson, Oct. 15 is White Cane Safety Day. Now known as White Cane Awareness Day, this national observance highlights the importance and contributions of blind Americans, and the White Cane Awareness Day designation has been upheld by every president since its inception.

A white cane is an invaluable tool for people with visual disabilities or blindness. It allows people to move safely and freely within their community, giving them greater mobility and navigation. It acts as a visible indicator to others that the person has a visual impairment. And most importantly, it plays a pivotal role in allowing people who are blind or have low vision to live high-quality, meaningful and independent lives.

A white cane is among several assistive resources a person with vision loss or blindness can use to engage in their surroundings. Others include software for accessing online information, skills development trainings, and adaptive tools such as large print calendars, locator dots and a talking cooking thermometer.

The Texas Health and Human Services Vision Loss in Older Adults campaign highlights a number of programs and resources available in the state, including the Texas Workforce Commission’s Older Individuals Who are Blind program that provides skills training and peer support. Resources for people who work with older adults experiencing low vision or blindness are also available through this campaign.

White Cane Awareness Day serves as a powerful reminder that people with visual impairments are not different from their sighted counterparts and deserve equal access to all public spaces. This observance encourages Texans to raise awareness and take action to ensure every person — regardless of their visual abilities — can enjoy the same opportunities and rights.

For more information, visit the White Cane Awareness Day page on the National Federation of the Blind website.

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