Several Activities Across Southern California Demonstrate the Importance of Getting Around Independently Using a White Cane

Los Angeles – October 10, 2019 – Learn to navigate the world. Or just your kitchen. During the month of October, Braille Institute is raising awareness of Orientation and Mobility (O&M). People who have low vision or blindness use a variety of techniques to travel safely and effectively within their environment whether that be their home or the world outside their door.

The white cane was developed in the 1930s with Orientation and Mobility techniques and formal training developed after World War II to help returning service members who were blind or visually impaired. In 1960, the first university program began to train O&M specialists. At Braille Institute, five of the seven centers in Southern California have O&M Specialists. People can contact Braille Institute to learn more about their free O&M consultation.

“Not only do we have the opportunity to help our students who are visually impaired build skills through training and preparation for real life travel situations, but we also get to help create learning experiences for friends and family, volunteers and the whole community,” said Keema McClung, Braille Institute Orientation and Mobility Specialist.

October 15 is National White Cane Safety Day. Since 1964, this day recognizes the white cane as a tool of independence. Braille Institute Centers will be hosting a variety of activities to help raise awareness. From walks at the local farmers market, to raising awareness at Department of Motor Vehicles offices, to hosting presentations with the community, each center will be sharing information with the public about orientation and mobility on National White Cane Safety Day.

On October 19, Braille Institute is hosting its 10th annual Cane Quest event – an O&M competition for youth grades 3 to 12 who are blind or visually impaired. The event is held at California State University Los Angeles and safely challenges students to complete routes around campus using proper travel techniques and appropriate white cane skills.

You don’t have to be blind or visually impaired to benefit from Orientation and Mobility techniques. Learn tips and techniques to be a “Human Guide” – a person who helps guide someone who is visually impaired through their surroundings such as crossing a street or going through an office doorway. These simple tips can be used by anyone and can be found at

The public is welcome to attend the following events taking place throughout Southern California:

October 10, Thursday

• Braille Institute Anaheim

Time: Noon – 4:00pm

Location: Anaheim Farmer’s Market, 203 W Center Street Promenade, Anaheim, CA 92805

Activity: Braille Institute O&M Specialists will be hosting a table and providing demonstrations on white cane techniques.

October 15, Tuesday

• Braille Institute Anaheim

Time: 11:15am – 12:30pm

Location: Braille Institute Anaheim Center, 527 North Dale Avenue, Anaheim, CA 92801

Activity: The Lion’s Club Anaheim Chapter will be presenting on the importance of White Cane Day. Braille Institute Anaheim’s O&M Specialist will be the emcee and also share information on Braille Institute’s program.

• Braille Institute Los Angeles

Time: 10:00am – 12:00pm

Location: Department of Motor Vehicles, 803 Cole Ave, Hollywood, CA 90038

Activity: Join Braille Institute students at the DMV to raise awareness of White Cane Safety between drivers and visually impaired pedestrians. Students and staff will be available to answer questions and hand out flyers with tips on how to be a Human Guide.

• Braille Institute San Diego

Time: 10:00am – 12:00pm

Location: Westfield UTC Mall, 4545 La Jolla Village Dr, San Diego, CA 92122

Activity: Braille Institute students and guests will walk to the Westfield UTC Mall to raise awareness of White Cane Safety. After the walk to the mall, the group will gather at the Braille Institute Center for an ice cream social and a Blind Rhythm demonstration celebrating Orientation and Mobility.

• Braille Institute Santa Barbara

Time: 11:30am – 12:30pm

Location: Stern’s Wharf Dolphin Statue, 237 Stearns Wharf, Santa Barbara, CA 93101

Activity: Braille Institute students and guests will walk along the waterfront to raise awareness of White Cane Safety. They invite the public to join them for a picnic lunch at the end of the walk.

October 18, Friday

• Braille Institute Laguna Hills

Time: 19:00am – 11:30pm

Location: Braille Institute Laguna Hills Center, 2441 Ridge Rts Drive #110, Laguna Hills, CA 92653

Activity: Braille Institute staff will be reviewing the white cane law and sharing tips about white cane safety. For those who would like to participate there will also be a walk to the local Department of Motor Vehicles to pass out information on white cane safety and orientation and mobility.