Walkers share message of White Cane Awareness Day - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Walkers share message of White Cane Awareness Day

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Meet Beatrice Reynolds of Enosburgh Falls. She uses a walker and a cane to get around.

"It's very important to me," Reynolds said. "I have security with my white cane when I go walking."

Reynolds belongs to the Vermont Association for the Blind and Visually Impaired. This group gathered in St. Albans for the annual White Cane Awareness Day walk. This event was held to raise awareness and educate the public about those who are legally blind.

"Well, I'm blind in my left eye and partially blind and in my right eye," said Edgar Cook of St. Albans.

Cook was among those walking the streets. He explained the white cane he uses signals to others he's visually impaired and says drivers pay attention to him when he crosses the street.

The Vermont Association for the Blind and Visually Impaired, with help from the famous Helen Keller, was founded in 1926. Around 1,480 visually impaired people currently live in the state of Vermont.

This is a national campaign, too.

"It all started in Illinois when a blind person was trying to cross the road with a white cane," said Harriet Hall of Newport.

For Vermont this awareness day started six years ago, not only for those who have challenges with sight, but also for those who are driving vehicles.

"They were able to see it on the pavement. A lot of cars were able to recognize the cane," Hall said.

By taking their message to the public this way, the visually impaired hope to make the difficulties they face every day easier.

"We have to learn to do things differently without the vision most people have," Hall said.

It's a positive message from a group who can get around easier and safer with the help of a white cane and the public.

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