OSWEGO – The Oswego County Legislature recognizes Oct. 15 as White Cane Safety Day, marking the 50th anniversary of the proclamation which celebrates the determination and independence of people with vision loss.
“The white cane is one of the symbols of their ability to independently navigate streets, sidewalks and walkways, and public buildings and spaces. Its use has promoted courtesy and special consideration to the people who use it,” said Sabine Ingerson, director of Oswego ARISE and chairperson of the Vision Network.
The first proclamation was the result of a coordinated effort by the National Federation of the Blind.
The campaign continues in Oswego County with the Vision Network working to promote awareness, education and advocacy for people with vision loss and white cane safety.
One of their many accomplishments is the installation of audible pedestrian signals (APS) in the most travelled intersections in Oswego, including West First and Bridge streets and East First and Bridge streets.
Another APS is planned for the intersection of NYS Route 481 and Oneida Street in Fulton.
Drivers are reminded to be aware of pedestrians with metallic, white and red-tipped canes as they approach intersections and cross-walks, and yield the right-of-way to them.
This is part of the White Cane Law, which states that the driver of a vehicle approaching a blind pedestrian who is carrying a white cane or using a guide dog must take all the necessary precautions to avoid injury to that person.
A driver who fails to take these precautions will be liable if any injuries occur.
The Vision Network is a group of individuals and service providers such as ARISE, which works with residents, communities and advocacy groups to reaffirm the dignity, independence and self-worth of people living with various levels of ability.
To learn more about ARISE services, call the Oswego office at 342-4088 or the Pulaski office at 298-5726 or go to http://www.ariseinc.org/programs/oswego_services.html