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Crossing the street safely can sometimes be a challenge in Central Florida. Now imagine trying to cross the street with limited or no vision. Blind American Equality Day, formerly known as White Cane Day, recognizes achievements and independence of the visually impaired. Best Foot Forward partners led by MetroPlan Orlando, the National Federation of the Blind, Lighthouse Central Florida and more will reaffirm the commitment to improving access to basic pedestrian safety for people who are blind or visually impaired in a virtual ceremony at noon, October 15.
White Cane Safety should be practiced every day, but Friday the goal is to educate how our visually impaired population live and work independently while giving back to their communities.
Here are a few reminders for drivers:
- A person using a white cane or guide dog ALWAYS has the right of way by law. (FL Statute 316.1301).
- Stop in advance of the stop bar, not in the crosswalk. Stopping inside the crosswalk may put visually impaired or any other pedestrian at greater risk by having to navigate around your vehicle.
- Never honk your horn or give a blind person verbal cues.
- Please make a commitment every day to slow down and watch for all pedestrians, especially those with visual impairments.
“At Best Foot Forward, we realize that today highlights the importance of the White Cane Law, but I can assure you that Best Foot Forward partners are sharing this message throughout the entire year to drivers in Central Florida,” said BFF’s Barbara Giles. “In addition to community outreach, Best Foot Forward partners are also planning law enforcement operations to emphasize inclusive streets and laws requiring drivers to stop for people with disabilities crossing the street.”
During the virtual event, Libertad Acosta-Anderson with the FDOT will introduce us to Cooper, to share this important message below:
Additionally, MetroPlan Orlando and LYNX will virtually unveil an Access-LYNX vehicle that will help spread the message to drivers to stop for anyone with a white cane. See it here … https://twitter.com/MetroPlan_Orl/status/1448989025826709504.
The virtual event sponsors include: MetroPlan Orlando, FDOT, LYNX, Greater Orlando Counsel of the Blind, National Federation of the Blind, Florida Division of Blind Services, LYNX, Lighthouse Central Florida, Orange County Public Schools and Bike/Walk Central Florida.