Guest Post by: Brian Higgins, WBRC CATs Supervisor
WBRC had a successful 2011 White Cane Awareness Walk! We would like to thank everyone for their participation including Veterans, WBRC Staff, and Lions Club Members. Without your help the event for the veterans and the blind center would not have been a success. While I was walking around downtown Palo Alto an expression came to me “It takes a community to support a veteran”.
The WBRC staff participating in the walk helped to guide veterans along the route, and some staff walked the route with blindfolds on while using long white canes. The Lions Club provided us with volunteers to ensure our safety as the WBRC group crossed at busy intersections in downtown Palo Alto. The city of Palo Alto also supported us in our effort. Palo Alto provided us with a police officer to escort the group along our route. He was watching the traffic and public along the whole route at every stop light, ready to write tickets to any drivers that violated the White Cane Law and failed to yield to white cane and guide dog users.
|Photo: The WBRC Group walked down University Ave in matching |
White Cane Awareness Shirts and handed out flyers to bystanders.
|Photo: Some of the WBRC Group crossing University Ave|
on the green light. Staff and Loins Club volunteers ensured
everyone's safety and Palo Alto provided a police escort
to cite drivers if they did not yield to the white cane users.
|Photo: Yurika Vu (left) and Susan Marshall,|
both WBRC CATs Instructors, during the walk.
Susan walked the entire route under blindfold
using a long white cane.
The Mayor of Palo Alto greeted us at the end of our walk in front of City Hall and gave a speech to the group about advocacy and his support towards educating the public about the white cane law. He read the white cane day proclamation and then posed with the group for pictures. After a comment from one of WBRC staff last year the Mayor of Palo Alto has added Braille to his business card and has received a lot of positive feedback for adding Braille to his card. All in all it was a very positive experience and I think we did well educating the community about the white cane law. Thanks again to everyone who contributed to the White Cane Awareness Walk, your efforts really do make a difference.