Since 1964, White Cane Day has been a national observance day in the United States. This day celebrates the achievements of people who are blind or visually impaired and the important tool of independence, the white cane.
Chasity, a creative VI paraprofessional/braillist, created this amazing White Cane bulletin board. The bulletin board has a black background. On the left side is a paper silhouette of a person walking with a real white cane; the person’s paper arm is wrapped around the grip of the white cane. The cane is attached to the board with red duct tape. On the right side of the bulletin board is another real white cane with the parts of the cane labeled in print. The White Cane Poem is in the center of the bulletin board. Strategically placed around the board are helpful sentences from the cane user’s perspective with hints of what to do or not do when interacting with a cane user.
Note: Chasity shared that “My White Cane” is the title of this bulletin board, but the title is not included in this picture.
Note: Add braille to the White Cane Day Poem and White Cane Day Sayings that are posted on the bulletin board. Be sure to encourage your BLV student to explore the bulletin board too! Encourage your student read the poem or a saying to his/her classmates!
Image of the White Cane Day bulletin board:
This is my cane and it’s my trusted friend.
From the strap on the top to the tip on the end.
I take it with me when I start my day.
I use it to find things that are in my way.
Tap! I found a pole and I go around.
Moving my cane smoothly to scan the ground.
Whoops! What’s that? I stop in my tracks.
Oh! I just found some really big cracks.
I can step carefully, I don’t want to fall.
With my cane in hand, I’m walking tall.
Hey! Did I just find something new?
The cane tip went down, I think it’s a clue.
Oh, there’s a curb, but no big deal.
I know it’s there, I know by feel.
So, it’s a happy White Cane Day!
And we’ll have many more.
My white cane and I are off to explore!
By Jessica McDowell
Download the White Cane Day Poem here.
Each saying cane be printed on cut apart. Attach each saying around the bulletin board. White Cane Day Sayings:
I might look different, but I’m just like you.
In line you can kindly say go, please don’t push or pull.
Say “hello”, so I know you are there.
Keep the floors clean, so I don’t fall please.
Push in chairs, because that’s helpful since I can’t see.
It’s helpful to ask me if I need help first, I’m learning my independence, just like you.
A noisy hallway is distracting, make sure to stay quiet.
It’s nice to help, but a lot of things I can do myself.
Download the White Cane Day Sayings here.
Involve your student! What does your student wish that his/her peers would do or not do? Ask your student to come up with his/her own sayings; feel free to use these written sayings above as prompts. Add sayings for gen ed teachers too! (What do you wish the gen ed teachers would do or not do? Do teachers stop and talk to your student when the student is on a route or during a mobility lesson?)
Reading: Provide your student with a digital copy of the White Cane Day Poem and/or White Cane Day Sayings. Have the student practice tech commands such as Read All commands, read line by line, etc. Read the documents using a braille display.
Writing: Provide only the first part of each sentence of the White Cane Day Sayings and have your student write his own version of the second half. Example: Provide a digital copy of “Push in chairs,” and the student will navigate to and write his/her own response as to why pushing in chairs is important. Print (and emboss) the new sayings and ask your student to determine where to place the saying on the bulletin board.
Your student can take this opportunity to talk to peers about his/her White Cane. A young student might simply demonstrate a couple of specific things that he/she does with her cane, such as the cane arc, what the cane might find around the school, etc. and then to answer any questions the class might have.
If the class is learning to create simple Presentations (PowerPoints, Keynotes or Slides), the student can put together a simple presentation about using his/her white cane. This presentation could include photos and/or videos.
Riley’s Transition to Middle School Video includes a wonderful, humorous student-staring video. The video includes scenes about Riley and her cane. Your student could create a simple video focusing on his/her White Cane and share that video with classmates, teachers, and families. Include White Cane Day in the video, and emphasis how the student’s white cane is a tool!
Note: When a video is created, please consider sharing the video with the Paths to Technology community! Contact us: [email protected]
White Cane Day and other cane-related posts:
By Diane Brauner