SARASOTA, FL – Lighthouse Vision Loss Education Center, a nonprofit organization that provides no-cost rehabilitation training and education to the blind and visually impaired in our region, will celebrate the annual White Cane Awareness Day with a new event on October 19. The “Mobility Challenge Without Sight” offers teams of participants the opportunity to test their navigation skills in downtown Sarasota while experiencing simulated vision impairment. The event begins at Selby Library (1331 1st St., Sarasota) and runs from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
At check-in, participants will receive a designated route with instructions. Small groups will follow one of several routes and also participate in stand-alone challenges at select merchants and locations. These activities will illustrate not only what life is like without sight but will also showcase how to overcome vision challenges. Comfortable attire and shoes are recommended; the walk will take approximately 1-1/2 hours, with routes of approximately half a mile.
The white cane is both a navigation system for the blind and visually impaired and an international signal for motorists to yield to the pedestrian who can’t see them. Lighthouse Vision Loss Education Center, the area’s nonprofit vision rehabilitation resource, has trained thousands of people in the skillful use of the cane for orientation and mobility.
“At Lighthouse, we have seen the impact that the white cane has on the lives of those impacted by vision loss,” said Lighthouse Vision Loss Education Center CEO Lisa Howard. “Over time, as our Certified Mobility Instructors teach them adaptive techniques to accomplish everyday tasks, you can see hope and happiness return. As they gain confidence, they move toward independence. An incredible number of our clients tell us that the white cane hasn’t just improved their lives, it has SAVED their lives.”
During event registration, between 10 and 10:30 a.m., the Sarasota Lions Club will offer free diabetes screenings. Also in attendance will be representatives from Sarasota in Motion, Florida Department of Transportation, Sarasota County, Florida Division of Blind Services, and Southeast Guide Dogs. Snacks and drinks will be provided, courtesy of Publix and Tropicana. There is no fee to participate but donations are welcome.
Online registration and updated information available at LighthouseEducationCenter.org/mobility-challenge/. For any questions or accessibility concerns, call 941-359-1404 or email nicole.mobley@LighthouseEducationCenter.org.
About Lighthouse Vison Loss Education Center
Lighthouse Vision Loss Education Center is the only nationally accredited, private, nonprofit agency providing rehabilitation training to blind and visually impaired individuals of all ages. Its five-county service area includes Sarasota, Manatee, DeSoto, Charlotte and Highlands. Lighthouse’s programs offer a holistic approach by providing training and rehabilitation to foster independence, productivity, and improved quality of life; these services are provided at no cost to clients. For more information, go to LighthouseEducationCenter.org or call 941-359-1404.