October 15 is White Cane Safety Day
In recognition of White Cane Safety Day on Oct. 15, Lane Transit District (LTD) celebrates the access and independence of people who are blind or experience visual disabilities while using public transit. LTD offers many accessibility features on all buses to help welcome people with disabilities, including:
- Raised line maps of stations
- Braille and large print materials
- Audio announcements of all major stops and transfer points, and any stops requested to the operator
- Tactile warnings/pavers at major transition points
- Tap cards for fast automatic fare payments
- Service animal endorsements on rider cards to expedite boarding
- Hailing kits to let passing drivers know which bus is needed
- Travel Training and Transit Hosts available to assist passengers
“I use a white cane mostly after dark,” said Scott Whetham, a local program coordinator with Alternative Work Concepts (AWC), a national nonprofit employment agency for persons who experience physical and multiple disabilities. “It identifies me as a person experiencing low vision.”
The white cane remains an important symbol of determination and independence for people who are blind or experience a visual disability. The National Federation for the Blind (NFB) notes a white cane can be used to better assess situations, move quickly and confidently by avoiding obstacles, finding steps and curbs, locating and stepping over cracks or uneven places in the sidewalk, finding doorways, getting into cars and buses, and much more.
“White Cane Safety Day is also a day of education,” said John Ahlen, LTD’s Accessible Services Program Manager. “LTD encourages people who are sighted to review these tips offered by the NFB, to contribute to a safer environment for all.”
”We’re happy to celebrate the accomplishments of our blind community, who have made invaluable contributions toward the advancement of rights, education, and independence of all people,” Ahlen said. “We would be honored if community members would ride with LTD on a bus or RideSource during White Cane Safety Day, traveling safely in solidarity.”
Learn more about the Oregon Commission for the Blind online.