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Lighthouse to hold ‘White Cane Walk’ Saturday

By Staff | Oct 10, 2017

For 43 years, Lighthouse of SWFL has helped thousands of individuals with visual impairment achieve independence, earn and maintain employment and live enjoyable lives.

On Saturday, Lighthouse of SWFL will hold one of the signature events of the year when they host a “White Cane Walk” from 11 a.m. to noon at the northwest corner of Pine Island Road and Old 41/North Tamiami Trail.

Walkers of all ages and abilities are invited to participate in this free event, which will be conducted by guides from Lighthouse of SWFL and the Lee County Sheriff’s Office.

Amy Turner, Lighthouse spokesperson, said the symbolic walk is something that predates Lighthouse and is held in observance of National White Cane Safety Day (which will actually be observed Sunday) to celebrate the achievements of individuals who are blind or who have vision impairment.

“It honors people who live with blindness. That long white cane is a symbol of independence and champions. They can have a wonderful, productive, independent life,” Turner said.

The White Cane Walk National White Cane Safety Day serves as a reminder that motor vehicles and pedestrians should yield the right of way to individuals using a white cane.

“The cane is also a symbol for cars to know this person is living with blindness and you need to take precautions and either slow down or stop,” Turner said.

The location of the walk is a new one. It was previously held at the intersection of New 41 and Pine Island Road at Merchant Crossing Shopping Center. The new location is expected to have only slightly less traffic, Turner said, adding they wanted to hold the event closer to the Lighthouse.

“We want to hit as many people as possible, so traffic is important. We’ll have our signs out that symbolize white cane awareness,” Turner said. “We get great support from all businesses and the general public.”

Parking is available at the northwest corner of Pine Island Road and Old 41/North Tamiami Trail in the North Fort Myers Plaza near Tastee Treat.

Lighthouse of SWFL is a non-profit, vision rehabilitation agency, which trains people of all ages in Lee, Hendry, and Glades counties living with blindness and vision impairment to live and work independently. Classes include safe cooking, Braille, orientation and mobility, technology using iPhones, art, ballroom dance, and more.

The mission of the Lighthouse of SWFL is to enable people of all ages living with a visual impairment or blindness to remain independent, active and productive in society.

“It’s great to know we are helping to bring awareness to the community that the visually impaired can get around and do things. They can work,” Turner said. “They can do anything a sighted person can do.”

For more information, visit www.lighthouseswfl.org, email aturner@lighthouseswfl.org or call 997-7797.