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White Cane Awareness Day events offer experiential walks

White Cane Events Around Vermont—October 2023

On October 6, 1964, Congress passed a joint resolution to grant the President of the United States the power to proclaim October 15th of each year as White Cane Safety Awareness Day.  President Lyndon B. Johnson proclaimed the first White Cane Safety Awareness Day within hours of the passage of the resolution.  Since its inception, White Cane Safety Awareness Day has both celebrated the white cane and brought awareness to those who are not familiar with what it is like to travel under the guidance of the white cane.

The white cane is a symbol of strength and independence for blind and visually impaired people.  According to the American Council of the Blind, the white cane was first introduced in the United States in 1931 by a member of Lions Club International after he saw an individual crossing a busy street with a black cane that was extremely difficult for motorists to notice. 

Events and celebrations throughout the state noted below are sponsored by the State of Vermont Department of Disabilities, Aging and Independent Living (DAIL) Division for the Blind and Visually Impaired (DBVI) and the Vermont Association for the Blind and Visually Impaired (VABVI):

Burlington: Saturday, October 14, 2023


10:30am: Arrive at the Overlook Café, 108 Cherry St., Burlington, VT.

10:30-11:30: Enjoy breakfast and discuss the importance of White Cane Awareness Day.

11:30am-12:30pm: Experiential walk up and down Church Street.

Please RSVP by October 2 if you plan to attend breakfast. For more information and to RSVP, please contact Eliana Pansegrouw, LEAP Program Developer, at, or 202-604-4534.

Barre: Modnay, October 16, 2023


White Cane Awareness Walk in Barre Walk on October 16, 2023.

1:00 PM: Meet at the parking lot outside Walgreens in Barre, VT. 

Brief instruction will be given for human guide technique.  The group will then walk through downtown Barre.  We will finish at the Community National Bank Building. This will be followed with pizza and some speakers about the history of White Cane Awareness Day.

Rutland: Friday, October 13, 2023


12:00 (Noon): Meet at the Asa Bloomer Building atrium at 88 Merchants Row, Rutland, VT.

Participants of all ages and backgrounds will have the opportunity to use the white cane as they walk in downtown Rutland learning first-hand what it is like to make their way in the world as a person who is blind or visually impaired. The walk will be followed by a reception with light refreshments.  All are welcome.

Brattleboro: Friday, October 13, 2023


Friday, October 13, 2023: Meet outside at Brooks Memorial Library (224 Main St. Brattleboro, VT) from 10:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. Participants of all ages and backgrounds will have the opportunity to participate in an experiential walk to celebrate and raise awareness about the independence of White Cane users. There will be an interactive discussion and opportunity for participants to share the experiences of blind and visually impaired Vermonters. The event will include a reception with light refreshments. All are welcome.

For more information about this year’s White Cane Day celebrations throughout the State contact:  Olga Pschorr, DAIL Division for the Blind & Visually Impaired, 802-802-289-0333 / or Dan Norris, Vermont Association for the Blind and Visually Impaired, 1-877-350-8838, ext.101 /