2013-11-15 / Community

White Cane Walk last month a success

A perfect New England fall day greeted volunteers and walkers on a Saturday morning last month for the White Cane Walk held in Portland, to benefit The Iris Network.

South Portland resident Chuck Igo, the master of ceremonies, introduced Iris Network Executive Director Jim Phipps. Phipps introduced the grand marshal, Renaldo Rodriguez.

More than 150 walkers from throughout Maine, New Hampshire and Massachusetts were joined by puppies in training from the Guiding Eyes for the Blind, a guide dog training program.

Rodriquez is a puppet from the Kids on the Block program at the Children’s Museum and Theatre of Maine. He uses a white cane and he and his friends teach children about disabilities and to accept them. Renaldo’s friend, Brenda, also came to the walk and immediately following, they presented a show on braille and blindness.

The white cane is a mobility tool for individuals who are visually impaired or blind and the White Cane Walk for Independence, held annually since 1995, celebrates it as a symbol of independence. The walk also serves to raise awareness and remind all of Maine’s White Cane law. Maine’s White Cane Law ensures that people who are visually impaired or blind and who use a white cane or guide dog have the same right as sighted pedestrians to travel safely on foot. The Law notes that traffic should yield, as always, to pedestrians in the crosswalk. Drivers should not shout or gesture at individuals using a white cane or a dog guide.

All proceeds from the Walk support The Iris Network programs to promote independence in people who are visually impaired or blind through training and education.

Return to top