I am delighted to say that both Kansas and Missouri have White Cane Laws. What a White Cane Law does is reiterate the state’s commitment to people with disabilities, particularly those with vision disabilities, to live full, equal lives within that state. They make it, again, illegal to discriminate against people with disabilities in terms of services, housing, etc., and make it so that businesses must allow people to bring in their canes (including children–you can’t say you’re scared of that 4-year-old having a ‘stick’ and refuse to allow him/her to use the cane) and their service dogs. For example: A cabbie can’t refuse a trip to someone with a guide dog, or charge more for that guide dog to travel than the cabbie would for a person who doesn’t use a dog.
White Cane Safety Day is designed to both raise awareness of the law and to reinforce awareness of cane safety. Basically, it’s a way to help remind people what a cane is for, how to safely interact with someone with a cane (for instance, in Kansas, someone with a long white cane has right-of-way regardless of whether s/he’s in an intersection or not), and to reiterate that people who are blind and visually impaired are capable members of society.
There are all sorts of events for White Cane Safety Day, from rallies to governors’ speeches. While I was browsing YouTube, I found that flash mobs are a far more common way to celebrate White Cane Safety Day than I would have imagined.
Here’s one in Seattle:
And another in Tampa:
And a third in Milwaukee:
and this one in Sacramento:
Wherever you are and however you plan to celebrate, have a wonderful White Cane Safety Day!