The White Cane - The Symbol of Independence

We Want Choices!

White Cane Week 2018
By Deanna Ng

White Cane Week is celebrated across Canada, this week. It started Sunday, February 4 and goes until Saturday, February 10.

The white cane helps people who have vision impairment get around and be independent, so they are included in everyday things like work, school, errands, appointments, and social gatherings.
The trend started in the 1920-1930 time period in France and England with the rise of war veterans and motor vehicle use.

VIRN recognizes that people want more choices in what colour cane they use. Yet they respect and know that the white cane remains the symbol of achievements and independence to the community.
I use a white cane, travel everywhere in the city independently, and go to many public spaces, gatherings, and events. It would not be possible without the advocacy, support, and education on inclusion out in the community done by VIRN.

Throughout the year, we at VIRN provide workshops, events, assistive technology lessons, life skills, peer support and education in the community.

Examples of this, is in through educating schools, businesses, organizations, and people of all ages through the “See If You Can” program. We welcome the opportunity to increase awareness in the community on the abilities of people who are vision impaired.

Another example is our inclusive curling program, where Vision Impaired (VI) Curlers, their friends, and family, of all levels can learn, compete, socialize, and have fun.

Yet another example is inclusive technology through our Tech-Ease program that enables the VI Community to meet and educate each other on new information, technology, features and accessibility of ever changing technology.

This is possible due to public awareness, education, and ongoing discussions about inclusion. “The symbol of our Community’s success remains the white cane. No matter the colour, style, make, or model of the cane our Community members use, we understand the independence that it brings.” - VIRN