L&I Bureau of Blindness and Visual Services Partners with Local Agencies to Recognize White Cane Safety Day

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News for Immediate Release

Oct. 14, 2014

Harrisburg – The Department of Labor & Industry’s (L&I) Bureau of Blindness and Visual Services (BBVS) today partnered with Vision Resources of Central Pennsylvania (VROCP), the PA Council of the Blind (PCB) and the Citizens Advisory Committee (CAC) to recognize White Cane Safety Day to raise public awareness of this important mobility tool for people who are blind or visually impaired.

In Pennsylvania, and across the nation, White Cane Day celebrates the independence of people who are blind or visually impaired. The Bureau of Blindness and Visual Services, located within L&I’s Office of Vocational Rehabilitation (OVR) and its partners provided leaflets, answered questions and provided information to pedestrians and motorists around central Pennsylvania explaining the state’s White Cane law.

Pennsylvania Department of Labor & Industry Secretary Julia Hearthway and Harrisburg Mayor Eric Papenfuse joined events sponsors at noon at the corner of Second and Market Streets for a brief lesson under blindfold on how to cross the street using the white cane.

“White Cane Day is a chance to inform all Pennsylvania residents of the importance of recognizing and respecting those who are blind and visually impaired,” Hearthway said. “All around Pennsylvania, many blind and visually impaired people walk to work and to lunch. It’s imperative that all workers be aware of co-workers who use a white cane so that everyone remains safe all day, every day.”

“I appreciate the opportunity to use White Cane Day to help ensure the safety of our neighbors who are visually impaired,” said Mayor Eric Papenfuse.  “We must all do our part to create a safe and inclusive environment for all of our citizens.”


In addition to the Second and Market Streets location OVR, VROCP and CAC staff were located at the following intersections from 11:30 am. to 1:30 pm:

  • Market Street at the intersections of Third and Fourth Streets;
  • Walnut Street at the intersections of Second, Third and Fourth Streets;
  • Franklin County Human Services Building, 425 Franklin Farm Road, Chambersburg;
  • Wal-Mart, 6520 Carlisle Pike, Mechanicsburg, Cumberland County;
  • Wal-Mart, Mushroom Hill Road, Harrisburg, Dauphin County; and
  • 25 East Main Street, New Bloomfield, Perry County.

White Cane Safety Day falls within the National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM) of October, which is a national campaign that raises awareness about disability employment issues and celebrates the many and varied contributions of Americans with disabilities.  The 2014 theme is “Expect. Employ. Empower.”

The white cane is a symbol of independence.  The mission of the Office of Vocational Rehabilitation (OVR) is to assist Pennsylvanians with disabilities to secure and maintain employment and independence.  OVR’s Bureau of Blindness and Visual Services provides services to help Pennsylvanians who are blind or visually impaired to work and maintain independent lives.

For more information on White Cane Day, visit http://www.whitecaneday.org/.

Media contact: Labor & Industry, Theresa Elliott, 717-787-7530

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