FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
DHS Division of Services for the Blind
501-682-0332 or email@example.com
Governor Proclaims Oct. 15 White Cane Safety Day
Gov. Asa Hutchinson has proclaimed Sunday, Oct. 15 as White Cane Safety Day in Arkansas, in conjunction with Blind Awareness and National Disability Employement Awareness Months. For people all over the country who are blind and visually impaired, a white cane is an important tool and a symbol that means safety, mobility and freedom.
The Arkansas Department of Human Services (DHS) Division of Services for the Blind (DSB), along with other blindness groups, is having a White Cane Safety Day observance Friday, Oct. 13 in the auditorium of World Services for the Blind, 2811 Fair Park Blvd., in Little Rock. The hour-long event will start at 10:30 a.m. and is open to the public. Free parking is available along Tyler Street or in the large parking lot at Tyler and 29th Streets, diagonally across from the rear entrance.
Cindy Gillespie, director of the Department of Human Services and a member of the Governor’s Cabinet, will be the keynot speaker.
Before joining DHS, Gillespie served as a principal in the Washington D.C. office of Dentons’ Public Policy and Regulation practice and was a leader of the firm’s Health Policy and Health Insurance Exchange Teams. Earlier, Gillespie served as a senior advisor to former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, where she led the Commonwealth of Massachusetts’ interactions with the federal government and played a leading role in the development of the state’s health reforms.
White Cane Safety Day has been observed every year since President Lyndon B. Johnson signed it into law in 1964. The first White Cane Ordinance was passed in 1930 in Peoria, Illinois and granted pedestrians carrying a white cane protections and the right-of-way.
Other states, including Arkansas, soon adopted similar laws. The white cane is a symbol of independence, because it increases mobility for people who are blind or visually impaired. The white cane also raises awareness for pedestrian safety.
For information about DSB programs and services, visit the DSB website at http://humanservices.arkansas.gov/dsb/Pages/default.aspx or call 1-800-960-9270 , 501-682-5463 , or Deaf Relay 711.