AUBURN, Ala. (EETV) - White Cane Awareness Day made its way to the plains this past Saturday for the 11th annual walk to raise awareness for visually impaired people across the state of Alabama. From Jordan-Hare Stadium to Toomer's Corner, attendees walked together to symbolize that those with visual impairments have independence like anyone else.
The Alabama School for the Blind's Band performed the national anthem and a speech from Alabama House Representative, Joe Lovvorn, where he read a proclamation from Gov. Kay Ivey, officially making Oct. 15 White Cane Day. "We need to recognize people don't have disabilities, they have different abilities," Ivey said.
White Cane Day is put together by the Alabama Department of Rehabilitation Services, the Alabama Institution for the Deaf and Blind, along with the National Federation of the Blind. Since 2011, they have traveled across Alabama to do the walk, but this was the first time the event has been hosted in Auburn.
Jane Elizabeth Burdeshaw, commissioner for the Alabama Department of Rehabilitation Service, talked about the history of the day on a national scale. "White Cane Day is a national event that started in 1964, with President Lyndon B. Johnson, to recognize the importance of the white cane," Burdeshaw said. "White Cane Day represents independence and access."
White Cane Day in Alabama has 375 registered participants this year and they are looking to grow in the near future. Let's continue to support and empower the visually impaired community in their journey to independence and inclusivity.