Hey, little dude, what you doing?
I’m getting my cane all cleaned up because there’s a big day coming up.
What do you mean what’s that?
Well, what’s that?
It’s White Cane Safety Awareness Day at the Capitol.
You got to look good.
So on behalf of Governor Mark Dayton, I have a proclamation.
Hi, I’m Alicia Howard.
My name’s Brian Daniels. I’m the representative from the Faribault area.
My name is Holly Nordmeyer. I am from the Minnesota State Academies.
So what does White Cane Day mean to me? My name is Senator John Jasinski. I’m from District 24 [crosstalk]
October 2019 is National Disability Employment Awareness Month, and here in the state of Minnesota, we have an event called White Cane Safety Awareness Day held in St. Paul at the State Capitol of Minnesota, right in the rotunda. Teachers of the blind and visually impaired, counselors, directors, leaders, students, congressmen, senators, blind and visually impaired people from across the state gather to bring awareness to the white cane and guide dogs and safety, and also with the National Disability Employment Awareness Month upon us, we bring the model, the right talent, right now.
My name is Toumi and I feel like coming to White Cane Day means a lot because I know that although I’ve been blind for a really long time, I can still use my resources to my advantage.
My name is Christina Tennyson. I am a teacher for the blind and visually impaired, and I come today to celebrate equality and just awareness in general.
My name is Courten Hobel. I come to White Cane Day because being blind myself, I have seen just how much the long white cane gives me freedom. Teaching cane travel, I get to see how much freedom the long white cane gives each and every one of my students on a daily basis.
My name is Sheila Koenig. I’m the Transition Coordinator at State Services for the Blind, and I come to White Cane Day because it’s a gathering of blind people from all over the state, and we’re here to show that we have a voice and a presence. I think it’s amazing to kick off the program at the State Capitol, which is a place that really symbolizes people’s voices.
So save the date, October 15, 2019, at the State Capitol in St. Paul, Minnesota in the rotunda. Come join us and help enhance the opportunities and bring awareness to the possibilities for the blind and visually impaired of Minnesota. The right talent, right now.
I’m Eva. White Cane Day is running awareness about blindness and the use of canes and who we are and that we are out there.
My name’s Brian Daniels. I’m the representative in the Faribault area. I’ve been in the legislature for four years, and I have to tell you, this white cane event, I think, is the best of all our functions that we have. It’s showing that people are not disabled if they’re blind. They’re just able in a different way.
Well, White Cane Day, I think … and I love it especially today because it’s crappy out. The weather’s crazy, but it’s just representative of what people go through every single day. Whether it’s rain, sleet, snow, beautiful weather, there are people who are blind, visually impaired, deaf-blind, all around this country going out, doing their thing. They’re working. They’re going to school. They’re making it happen, and they don’t just stay in because the weather got bad. You can’t. You got to keep moving and grooving with your life. So I just think this day is really representative of all things that … It’s like another day, but it symbolizes what blind, visually impaired, and deaf-blind people stand for, and that they’re able to go out and move around with confidence and do their thing and live their life.
I’m Greg Smith, and I’m here with a group of students from South High School, and we’re coming just to celebrate the freedom that the white canes provide the students in their independence.
Jeff Thompson: If you’re not in Minnesota, be sure to check out what your state is doing for National Disability Employment Awareness Month. Maybe you’re having a White Cane Day event as well. Check it out, participate, be there, show up and help make a difference. Remember, you are the right talent, right now.
Or you’d walk into a restaurant with your guide dog and you could be kicked out. So we started fighting across all 50 states to make sure that we had the right to participate.
Hi, my name is Nadia, and I’m a student at BLIND, Inc. Well, White Cane [crosstalk]
You’ve been listening to some of the people who attended last year’s White Cane Safety Awareness Day and had their voices heard. So be sure to show up and let your voice be heard as well.
… scared to do anything out in the public. It’s a symbol for people to know that we’re out here doing our thing just like they are. I love using my white cane every day. I have so much pride in using it, and I’m so glad that today we get to celebrate a day like this.
If you have any questions, you can contact Michelle Gip by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 612-872-0100, extension 231. Be sure to check out blindinc.org on the web and find the registration form at blindinc.org/white-cane-day-2019. We’ll see you at the Capitol. White Cane Safety Awareness Day, October 15, 2019 from 10:00 AM to 12:00 PM.
My name’s Brent. I’m a new student. I’ve only attended BLIND, Inc. for about a month now. I am from Hastings, Minnesota. White Cane Day means to me that it’s a chance for everybody out in the big city and everywhere just to understand that there are visually impaired and blind people out there who deserve to be respected for their blindness, treated fairly just as anybody else, and when it comes to street crossings and everything, they’re just real willing to-
At least slow down a little bit, right?
At least slow down or give us the opportunity to cross. Yeah, yeah.
Line pedestrians have the right-of-way. Any person operating a motor vehicle in the state shall bring such motor vehicle to a stop and give the right-of-way at any intersection of any street, avenue, alley or other public highway to a blind pedestrian who is carrying a cane, predominantly white or metallic in color, with or without a red tip or using a guide dog.
Hi, I’m Alicia Howard, and to me, White Cane Day means a celebration of independence and a celebration of how the long white cane has impacted not only the blind community but how sighted people perceive the blind community and just the positive light that White Cane Day sheds on that.
So on behalf of Governor Mark Dayton, I have a proclamation.
Hi, I’m Samantha, and I think that the white cane is very important because to so many people it’s such a symbol of independence.
Whereas there are estimated 63,000 Minnesotans who are blind or visually impaired, many of them who travel with white canes.
Because I know for me, I’ve been blind my whole life. I’ve never not used a cane. I know a lot of kids sort of reject it and don’t want to be seen with it, but to me, I never felt safe traveling without one.
Whereas the need for the orientation and mobility services and white cane safety awareness will continue to grow and remain vital to the educational, vocational, and recreational needs of all Minnesotans who are blind or visually impaired.
To me it’s always been a big deal. My mom is blind as well. I was using a cane from the time I could walk. I was walking around conventions and stuff when I was two with a cane.
And whereas the Minnesota Department of Education and Minnesota public schools support educational outcomes for all children.
Always been something I’ve had, and I think it’s something that it’s important that people realize it’s sort of a symbol of independence rather than a stigmatized symbol of needing assistance. I think there’s an important distinction there.
Now, therefore, I, John Jasinski, on behalf of governor Mark Dayton do hereby proclaim Thursday, October 11, 2018 as White Cane Safety Awareness Day.
[Music] [Transition noise] -When we share
-What we see
-Through each other’s eyes…
[Multiple voices overlapping, in unison, to form a single sentence]
…We can then begin to bridge the gap between the limited expectations, and the realities of Blind Abilities.
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Contact Your State Services
If you reside in Minnesota, and you would like to know more about Transition Services from State Services contact Transition Coordinator Sheila Koenig by email or contact her via phone at 651-539-2361.
To find your State Services in your State you can go to www.AFB.org and search the directory for your agency.
Check out the Blind Abilities Communityon Facebook, the Blind Abilities Page, the Career Resources for the Blind and Visually Impairedand the Assistive Technology Community for the Blind and Visually Impaired.