October 12, 2020

On Oct. 15, Texas will join people around the world in observing White Cane Day to acknowledge the abilities of people who are blind and to promote equal opportunities. Established by President Lyndon Johnson in 1964, this annual observance highlights the white cane as a symbol of independence and empowerment because it assists visually impaired pedestrians with traveling on their own.

Gov. Greg Abbott has issued a proclamation to commemorate the 2020 observance of White Cane Day in Texas. Celebration of White Cane Day is vital to recognizing the achievements of individuals who are blind. In the words of a past White Cane Day event attendee, “People don’t really realize how independent blind people are.”

Each year, the Austin community comes together for a celebratory event that typically brings hundreds to city hall and a festival at the Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this year’s event will be virtual and is also open to all. The event will be available online at 9 a.m. Central Time on Wednesday, Oct. 14.

This year’s theme is “The Blind: Virtually Unstoppable.” The Texas Workforce Commission is hosting the event, and information about attending can be found on the White Cane Day webpage.

The Health and Human Services Commission’s Blind Children’s Program is a partner in the event. Deputy Associate Commissioner Joe Perez, who oversees the Blind Children’s Program, will be providing remarks on behalf of HHSC. His remarks will emphasize the importance of White Cane Day in bringing awareness of blindness and educating people about the power of perseverance.