The New York Institute For Special Education

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This year’s White Cane Safety Day was a successful event in which our students were able to show pride in their accomplishments while expanding public awareness of the meaning of their walking mobility cane. The white cane in our society has become one of the symbols of a blind person's ability to come and go on his own. Its use has promoted courtesy and special consideration to the blind on our streets.
Our younger students took to the streets along Pelham Parkway for a parade with their classroom made signs, banner and placards. In music classes, they had learned what is becoming the anthem for event “My White Cane” This original song has been written and performed by students at BLENNZ Music school to celebrate International White Cane Day 2015. BLENNZ is a school for the blind in New Zealand.

All along the parkway, people heard our proud children sing these lyrics:
When we need to find a way, When we need to navigate
When we need eyes on the ground, but we can’t see to get around
We still want to be independent, without stumbling all around
There is one solution that we’ve found,
It’s a long white thing that looks like a stick
Made of metal and string with a rubber grip
My guide to get me from A to B
It’s my white cane, It helps me to see.

In the afternoon, our high schoolers attended a lecture on advocacy and met the speakers guide dog.
NYISE annually recognizes White Cane Day to acknowledge the abilities of people who are blind and to promote equal opportunities as any other American. The mission of White Cane Day is to educate the world about blindness and how the blind and visually impaired can live and work independently while giving back to their communities, to celebrate the abilities and successes achieved by blind people in a sighted world and to honor the many contributions being made by the blind and visually impaired.

Photographer: James Rivera

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