UH to Host City’s First White Cane Day

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The first Houston White Cane/Disability Awareness Day takes place from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., Monday, Oct. 15, at the University of Houston.

A proclamation from Mayor Bill White, a ribbon-cutting ceremony and a campus walk highlight activities at UH.

The national event is aimed at raising awareness about how people with disabilities retain their independence and maintain active, productive lives. The event highlights the white cane, a tool used by people who are blind or have severe vision loss to aid them in their independence.

A white cane/wheelchair campus walk/roll begins at 9 a.m. at the Justin Dart Jr. Center for Students with DisABILITIES building, 4361 Wheeler Ave. (Entrance #6), followed by the ribbon-cutting ceremony. Mayor White will cut the ribbon. Presentations, music and other activities take place at 11:30 a.m. at the University Center.

For more information, call 713-802-3100. People needing accommodations should call 713-743-5400 or email uhcsd@mail.uh.edu.

In 1964 President Lyndon B. Johnson declared Oct. 15 White Cane Safety Day to promote courtesy to people who are blind. Over the years, the white cane has become more than just an effective mobility tool, but also a powerful symbol of independence for citizens who are blind throughout the nation.

Consumers and their families will have the opportunity to meet and link with peer support groups, state agencies, health centers, organizations and vendors of assistive devices. Participants will discover self-help techniques and new assistive technology to increase confidence and skills to succeed in their goals toward self-sufficiency, living skills, travel skills, communication and support.

The U.S. Census estimates that more than 250,000 Houstonians between ages 16 and 64 have some form of disability. Attendants will learn that today people with disabilities remain an untapped market, and in time, can improve the city. DARS (Divisions for Blind Services and Rehabilitation Services) especially encourages employers to explore this often- overlooked community when filling vacancies for jobs.

To provide an opportunity for students with disabilities to try the various activities and equipment available for them, the Campus Wellness & Recreation Center is hosting a “Day at the Rec” Thursday, Oct. 18.

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