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A white cane story everyone needs to read

Paul Ekblad and his wife Jean spend a few months in Arizona every year.  He uses his white cane in Arizona, but not when he returns to Wisconsin.  He remarked, “I don’t want to be known as ‘the blind guy’ in our neighborhood.”

In late February of this year, Paul and Jean were crossing a street near their home in Arizona.  Jean was watching for the white “Walk” light.  When it illuminated, she said to Paul, “We can walk.” 

Jean stepped into the street as a car made a right turn and hit her.  Paul was one step behind and he didn’t get hurt, but his white cane penetrated the grill of the oncoming car.  “The driver stopped within inches of running over Jean,” Paul recounts.

The driver stopped immediately, and fortunately, both Jean and Paul escaped serious injury. 

Paul’s reminder to drivers is “Always look right and left before you make a right turn, and watch carefully for pedestrians, especially ones with a white cane.”

To that advice, all of us at the Wisconsin Council of the Blind & Visually Impaired say, “Amen!”