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October 15 is the 50th anniversary of National White Cane Safety Day

 

Listen to “On Sight”

To provide additional accessibility, we offer an audio recording of “On Sight” in .mp3 format.  Here’s the link: http://wcblind.org/audio/on_sight_october_2014.mp3 

Fall Gallery Night is almost here!

Fall Gallery Night, sponsored by the Madison Museum of Contemporary Art, is a great annual event in the Madison-area community.  We love being part of it, and we’re excited about the wonderful and creative pieces that will be on display at the Council for the collection titled “Art Beyond Sight.”  The exhibit includes photography by Mike Morris, oil paintings by Al Schmiege, wood carvings by Don McCall, and literary art by Annika Konrad.  All art was created by individuals with vision loss, and it will be accessible to guests who have vision loss. 

Please join us any time between 5 and 9 p.m. on Friday, October 10, when we host an opening reception.  You’ll find us at 754 Williamson Street in Madison.  You can meet the artists, learn about how and why they discovered a love for art, and understand what it means to them as individuals with vision loss. 

The Gallery Talk begins at 6:30 p.m.  If you can’t make it to the Council on October 10, “Art Beyond Sight” will be available for viewing until November 15.  You’re welcome to stop by Monday through Friday, any time between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m.

White Cane Safety Day celebrates 50th anniversary

A joint resolution approved by Congress on October 6, 1964 authorized President Lyndon B. Johnson to proclaim October 15 of each year as White Cane Safety Day. Legislation followed to protect the safety of pedestrians using a white cane.  Today, there is a variant of the White Cane Law on the statute books of every state in the country.

Wisconsin’s White Cane Safety Law, which the Wisconsin Council of the Blind & Visually Impaired was instrumental in passing, states:

“An Operator of a vehicle shall stop the vehicle before approaching closer than 10 feet to a pedestrian who is carrying a cane or walking stick which is white in color or white trimmed with red and which is held in an extended or raised position or who is using a service animal, as defined in s.106.52 (1)(fm), and shall take such precautions as may be necessary to avoid accident or injury to the pedestrian.”

To help raise awareness of the 50th anniversary of White Cane Safety Day, we have joined forces with several like-minded organizations across the state to inform the public about our Wisconsin state law.  We are promoting this observance through our print and electronic media and through an educational display at a Madison public library.  We are sending a public service announcement about pedestrian safety to radio stations across the state, seeking a mayoral proclamation, distributing bookmarks with the White Cane Law, and sharing a schedule of events taking place around Wisconsin at www.wcblind.org.

Here’s a partial listing of some of the activities taking place around the state on October 15:

  • There will be a flash mob and dance at the Milwaukee County Courthouse from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. 
  • The Sparta Low Vision Support Group will offer an educational event at the Sparta Free Library from 1-2:30 p.m.
  • The Appleton vision support group will meet for lunch at the Thompson Community Center and then walk down College Avenue.
  • The Wisconsin Center for the Blind and Visually Impaired is distributing bookmarks to driver’s education classes, the Department of Motor Vehicles and stores in the Janesville mall.  Students in the Daily Living Skills class will make White Cane Day cookies.
  • In addition to a display at a Madison public library, there will be displays at public libraries in Appleton, Oshkosh, Two Rivers, Marinette, Evansville, Sparta and Monroe. 

If you live in the Chippewa Falls area, there is a White Cane Safety Day Walk planned for October 15, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.  The event includes presentations about the White Cane Law, National White Cane Safety Day, the history of the white cane, a walk, lunch, and door prizes.  All are invited to participate in this event, whether you have vision loss or not.

Register by Friday, October 10, by calling Renee Kuester-Sebranek at 715-379-9011 or by sending an email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..  Donations to the event will benefit the programs and services of the Wisconsin Council of the Blind & Visually Impaired.

Thank you for the financial gifts generated by this and other White Cane Safety Day ceremonies!  The Council uses these funds to offer free white canes to those who qualify.  Nearly 500 canes have been given to people in Wisconsin who are blind or visually impaired.  Your gift to the White Cane Fund at the Wisconsin Council of the Blind & Visually Impaired is truly making a difference!  Donations can be made at www.wcblind.org.

How do you want to change a life?

Nearly every day on your way to work, you see a woman stepping off the city bus and walking with a white cane. She approaches the intersection, waits, and confidently and safely crosses the street. As she enters the office building, you wonder how she learned to do that without being able to see the cars. How can she be so sure of herself? How does she know she’s gotten off the bus at the right stop? Should I offer to help? She seems to be managing very well.

Joan is managing very well. She learned orientation and mobility skills from an experienced instructor at the Wisconsin Council of the Blind & Visually Impaired. With guidance and practice, Joan’s steps gained confidence while she achieved independence.

Your gift to the Council through workplace giving can help more people with blindness or low vision access tools and skills for living independently. Please consider making a gift during your company’s workplace giving campaign this fall.  Learn how at http://wcblind.org/index.php/component/content/article/8-pages/159-transform-a-life-through-workplace-giving.

Stay connected to the Council through FRIENDS

The fall issue of FRIENDS includes articles about the 50th anniversary of National White Cane Safety Day, the October 29th Adaptive Products Webinar, our fall online auction (even more items to bid on this year!), tips for better lighting, and an opportunity for you to request your free copy of our new Medication Management brochure.

You can read this issue online at http://wcblind.org/images/pdf_files/friends_fall_2014.pdf  or we would be happy to send you a print copy.  To obtain this, simply call us toll free at 1-800-783-5213 or send an email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Bidding benefits lives of people with vision loss

You can support the work of the Wisconsin Council of the Blind & Visually Impaired when you bid on items during our online auction!

No event to attend, no transportation to arrange, no babysitter to pay – just spend a few minutes in the comfort of your home browsing the variety of items available in our auction at www.biddingforgood.com/wcbvi. Items will be available to view beginning October 25.   

Here’s a sneak peek at some of the items waiting for a bid:

  • Local restaurant gift cards
  • Madison Children’s Museum passes
  • Subscription to Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra series
  • Delicious and unique foods
  • Wine tastings and tours
  • Tickets to June Sprints in Chicago
  • Zoo Family Membership

Bidding begins Monday, November 10, and ends Wednesday, November 19. There are more than 100 items to choose from! Don’t miss the great deals and the chance to support the Council’s work.  You might even find some unique gifts.

You will be asked to register and enter credit card information.  Rest assured that nothing will be charged to your credit card unless you are the highest bidder when the auction closes. 

Thank you to the businesses and individuals who donated auction items.  Your generosity makes this auction a fun and fund-filled event!

Don’t miss our final webinar of the year

October 22, is the registration deadline for the “Adaptive Products to Make Life with Vision Loss Easier” webinar that begins at 10:30 a.m. on Wednesday, October 29.

We’ll introduce you to a variety of products including portable and desktop video magnifiers, canes and cane tips, lamps, labeling, time pieces, and products to help maintain health.

To attend this free webinar, you need access to the Internet, since this is an online presentation.  To register, visit www.wcblind.org and click on the “Events” tab or call Jean Kalscheur at 608-237-8106.

We will archive this educational program if you’re unable to join us live on the 29th. 

We are grateful to LS&S and Mattingly Low Vision, whose generous support helps make this educational opportunity possible.

Let’s play cards!

Sign up now to attend the Ninth Annual Euchre Tournament for individuals who are blind or visually impaired and their friends.  It’s Saturday, November 1, at Culver’s Restaurant, 571 E. Richardson Springs Road, in Edgerton.

Registration is at 10 a.m.  Games begin at 10:30.  Final winners will be announced and cash prizes awarded at 2:30 p.m.

The $10 entrance fee includes lunch and the tournament games.  All proceeds benefit the Council’s programs and services.

Join the fun!  Register by October 24 by calling event organizer Sally Zenchenko at 608-334-1818.

Sharper Vision Store highlight of the month:
Large print address book so you can keep track of your contacts

Address Book

The lines of this large print address book are spaced ½ inch apart to provide plenty of room for large handwriting and easy reading, if you are a person with low vision. The book contains three name listings per page and more than 500 total individual listing spaces. It measures 7 ½ inches by 9 ½ inches, features a strong spiral binding, and comes with the popular 20/20 pen.  Keep all your contacts in one place with this attractive and helpful item which also makes a nice gift.

When you call the Sharper Vision Store at 608-237-8100, ask about Item # WG307.  You can also shop 24/7 from the comfort of your home when you visit http://shop.wcblind.org