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Celebrate White Cane Safety Day in Des Moines!

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      IDB Orientation Center students and staff walk with white canes on the State of Iowa Capitol Complex while participating in the 25th anniversary celebration of the ADA.

      Walk with the Iowa Department for the Blind on October 15

      When:       Thursday, October 15, 2015
                         12:30 pm to 3:30 pm

      Where:      Iowa Department for the Blind, 524 Fourth St and Principal Riverwalk, downtown
                         Des Moines, Iowa

      The flyer for White Cane Safety Day features a photo of the Iowa Women of Achievement Bridge on the Principal Riverwalk in Des Moines.White Cane Safety Day, also known as Blind Americans Equality Day, is an annual, national observance that recognizes the achievements of blind Americans and the importance of the white cane as the basic tool of mobility and symbol of independence for the blind. It is also a day to remind all citizens of the laws granting the right of way to blind cane travelers. In 1964, the United States Congress authorized the President of the United States to proclaim October 15 of each year as "White Cane Safety Day". In fact, White Cane Safety Day is now celebrated around the world in many countries on the same date.

      The Iowa Department for the Blind (IDB) is hosting a celebration and community walk to mark the occasion and is inviting members of Iowa’s blindness community, friends, and supporters to participate. Located at 524 Fourth Street in Des Moines, IDB’s event will take place from 12:30 to 3:30 pm.

      The event will open in the Department’s Assembly Room with some remarks by Director Richard Sorey recognizing the significance of the day and welcoming special guests. Proclamations of White Cane Safety Day from both the State of Iowa signed by Governor Terry Branstad and the City of Des Moines signed by Mayor Frank Cownie will then be presented and read. 

      Following the introduction, members of Iowa’s blindness community and their supporters will depart on a group walk on the nearby Principal Riverwalk along the Des Moines River downtown. The 1.2 mile paved loop trail provides an excellent opportunity to experience landscaped public spaces, world-class public art, and unique pedestrian bridges and pathways along the way. A guide to the trail walk will be provided in both Braille and large print to enhance the experience for walkers. A half-loop option will be available for those that choose not to travel the entire distance. Walkers will then return to the Iowa Department for the Blind to enjoy refreshments prepared by students of IDB’s Orientation Center, share social time with fellow walkers, and visit with exhibitors from blindness consumer groups, newspaper reading services, organizations like the VA’s Blind Rehabilitation Services, and the Friends of the Library.

      The Department encourages all blind and visually impaired Iowans and their supporters to join in this fun and meaningful celebration of White Cane Safety Day 2015.

      Download and share the flyer!

      If you would like to seek a proclamation of White Cane Safety Day 2015 from your local city or county government, feel free to use the templates linked below.

      Municipal/Mayoral Proclamation template

      County Proclamation template

      For more information about this event or the Iowa Department for the Blind, contact Rick Dressler, (515) 281-1314, rick.dressler@blind.state.ia.us.