October 17, 2013

2013 WBRC White Cane Awareness Walk a Huge Success

Photo: Chris Kliks and Brian Higgins walk at the event [Photo via Bookshare]

The 2013 White Cane Awareness Walk hosted by WBRC on October 16, 2013 was a huge success with over 60 marchers!  WBRC Students and Staff members were joined by participants from Bookshare, the VISTA Center, and the Palo Alto Host Lions Club on a stroll across El Camino Real and along South California Ave in Palo Alto, CA.  This event, designed to celebrate the ability of persons with vision impairment to lead full and independent lives, also included public education of the White Cane Law. 
The White Cane Law states that pedestrians who use a white cane or dog guide have certain rights.  Only persons who are legally blind are lawfully allowed to carry a white cane.   Legal Blindness is defined as someone who has best corrected visual acuity of 20/200 or less in the better eye; or a visual field limitation of 20 degrees or less.  Some people with vision loss do not fall under the legal blindness definition but can still benefit from use of a long cane in a different color, such as yellow.

The California Vehicle Code 21963 states that a person carrying a predominantly white cane or using a dog guide shall have the right-of-way, that the driver of any vehicle approaching this person who fails to yield, or take all reasonable precautions to avoid injuring this pedestrian is guilty of a misdemeanor.  This is punishable by imprisonment for up to six months, a $500 to $1,000 fine, or both. 

Bookshare and VISTA center (both located along the route) hosted meet and greets for the group which involved education about services and community resources.  WBRC would like to thank everyone who planned, volunteered, hosted, and marched in this event.  

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