Browse By Topic: Orientation and Mobility

Orientation refers to knowing where one is in space; mobility refers to moving from place to place. Orientation and mobility, also known as O&M, is the ability to get from place to place safely, gracefully, and efficiently. For children with visual impairments, developing O&M skills is a gradual process that begins in infancy and continues into adulthood.

Empowering Your Teen Who Is Blind or Visually Impaired for Adulthood

It won’t be long before your teen is earning his own income and living independentlylet’s actually label it interdependently, as emotionally healthy adults rely on others in one way or another, albeit for friendship, paid help with house cleaning or lawn care, or general advice and support. This, of course, begs the question: how well prepared for adulthood are our teens who are blind or visually impaired? Sure, there are the important transition services at school that increase preparedness, but what more can be in play at home to ensure your teen is equipped for


Spring Break Vacation Planning Tips for Families with a Blind or Visually Impaired Child

If I could write a letter to the 2017-2018 school year, I’d probably begin with the profound words of Full House’s Uncle JesseHAVE MERCY! School assignments are intensifying, classroom germs are relentless, and we’re all dog-tired. Yet, erupting from this dry ground is the most splendid and beautiful sightspring break! My hope is you are able to take the fast-approaching week off of work and enjoy every last second of respite with your child(ren). If you’re feeling up for an adventure, perhaps it’s time to plan a vacation! Here you’ll find heaps of vacation planning tips for families who have a child with a visual impairment. As suggested in


An Overview of Assessments for School-Age Children Who Are Blind or Visually Impaired

Whether your child has been diagnosed with an eye condition or you suspect your child’s poor vision is negatively affecting his education, it is important to request an evaluation for vision-related services from the school’s special education teacher or director. A teacher of students with visual impairments and/ or an orientation and mobility (travel training) instructor should conduct an evaluation


An Overview of Assessments for Children Birth Through Three Who Are Blind or Visually Impaired

A warm hello to you, parent or family member of a young child who is blind or visually impaired. My assumption is you are here because your child has recently been diagnosed with an eye condition, or you suspect your child has a visual impairment. You likely wonder if your child is eligible for vision-related services at home and/or at daycare, and if so, what types of assessments will be conducted to determine the type and amount of services which will prepare your child for a successful school experience. Early Intervention Services If your son or daughter is under three years of age and has


How Does a Visually Impaired Child or Teen Travel in the Cold, Snow, and Ice?

I can hear it nowFrozen’s beloved Anna grasping her stiff, emerald dress and murmuring, cold, cold, cold, cold, cold as she tiptoes through the snow. Then there are the famous Dalmatians trudging through knee-deep snow, Mama, my ears are cold and my nose is cold. Disney does a fine job of depicting the distress of traveling in wintry weather when unprepared. So, how do we elude those scenarios with our children who are blind or visually impaired? How does one prepare for winter weather orientation and mobility?


A Fun, Festive Holiday Take on the Expanded Core Curriculum

It’s the most wonderful time of the year, and with a little intentionality, that can be the truth! This season needn’t be about expensive gifts but about what’s far more important… using the additional time off from work and school to reconnect with family, enjoying each other while creating lifelong memories and traditions. This year we remind you to look at holiday connections, memories, and traditions through the lens of creating enjoyable,


New Article: Creating a DIY Tactile Map for Your Child Who Is Blind or Visually Impaired

You want to intentionally teach your child orientation and mobility skills, so you invite your child who is blind or visually impaired on motivating excursions such as practicing a trick-or-treat route or walking to the neighborhood park. To help your child orient to the area and to provide instruction in utilizing a map, you decide to create a tactile map. But let’s face itif, like me, you’re lacking a crafty side, the thought of creating a map that your child who is


A Meaningful and Accessible Halloween for Children with Visual Impairments

Halloween is a favorite day of the year for many childrencandy, costumes, and fall activities, how could it not be?! Your child with a visual impairment can be easily included in all things Halloween and activities leading up to Halloween. Here are a few ideas. Trick-or-Treating If you choose to participate in trick or treating in your neighborhood or to attend a local community Trunk or Treat, your child may want to dress up. When picking out a costume, remember your child's preferences and how some costumes present sensory issues. There are many creative ways to


New Article: How to Master Cardinal Directions

You intend to teach your child who is blind or visually impaired orientation and mobility concepts, so you’d like to use compass/cardinal directions to state which direction you’re driving or walking. The only problem is, if you’re like most, cardinal directions aren’t exactly on your list of things mastered. The temptation arises to simply let the mobility specialist help your child master this technique in due time. <img


FamilyConnect’s Latest Article Series: Orientation and Mobility for Blind and Visually Impaired Babies, Preschoolers, Grade Schoolers, and Teenagers

If your child is blind or visually impaired, your child’s education (from birth through the completion of high school) should include more than the core curriculum. It should include the expanded core curriculum, which provides your child with the skills needed to not only access the core curriculum but also to live a satisfying


In Celebration of White Cane Day 2017: Orientation and Mobility Questions and Answers

Since the passing of its resolution in 1964, each 15th of October we celebrate White Cane Safety Day and Blind Americans Equality Dayas I see it, we are celebrating the independence and abilities of individuals who are blind and visually impaired. We celebrate the fact that people with vision loss can go where they want to go, be who they want to be, and go invest in and enjoy the world. This independence is what the white cane symbolizes. It is also what orientation and mobility (travel) skills enable. <img src="http://www.afb.org/image.asp?ImageID=7062" alt="collage of children using white


The School Year Has Begun and Your Child Has No Blindness Services

The school year has begun and your child who is blind or visually impaired is not receiving blindness-specific educational services. What can you do? Most importantly, learn about the process of educating a child who is blind or visually impaired. The first step entails your child receiving federally mandated, blindness-specific assessments, which reveal your child’s strengths and areas necessitating instruction before your child can fully access the core curriculum. The educational team, including yourself, will


Inclusion in Life: Ted Talk Speaker Kristin Smedley Shares About Her Children with Visual Impairments

In the opening of her Ted Talk this past May, Kristin Smedley shared a very honest story about one of many very hard days as the mother of a blind toddler. Michael was three years old, bouncy and delightful. She was paralyzed daily by the fear, anger, and grief that his CRB1 diagnosis caused her. One day, in particular, she couldn’t make it out of bed. Why was this happening? Why would this happen to her child? In that moment, she could hear her son make his way down the hall to her room. Mommy, are you in here? Yeah, buddy, I’m right here in front of you on the bed. Mom, I just had to come down here and tell you, isn’t this just the best day ever? The sun is shining, and


Adult with a Visual Impairment Describes Learning to Use the White Cane While Using a Motorized Wheelchair As a Teen

Editor’s Note: Ms. Kim Shepherd shares her experience learning Orientation and Mobility while using her motorized wheelchair in hopes that children and teens with multiple disabilities pursue O&M training. Thank you, Kim! To the FamilyConnect family, I received Orientation and Mobility training in 1977, at age 15, while attending Chico Junior High School in Chico, California, thanks to the brilliance and compassion of Mr. Jerry Early,


Teacher Appreciation Day and Your Child’s Teachers of Students with Visual Impairments and Orientation and Mobility Specialist

National Teacher Appreciation Day 2017 is Tuesday, May 9th; Teacher Appreciation Week is initiated by schools sometime between early and mid-May. While you may have a few ideas generated for your child’s classroom teacher, I wonder if you’ve considered how to celebrate your child’s Teacher of Students with Visual Impairments (TVI) and orientation and


Winter Weather Orientation and Mobility (Oh My!) for Children and Teens with Visual Impairments

Now I don’t know where you live, but I am freezing here in Delaware and most certainly have winter weather on the brain! This morning, in fact, my kiddos and I definitely should have worn hats and gloves to the bus stop, but gloves in particular seem to be ever-missing in this home. One trip to the Target dollar section later, and I am well stocked on woodland animal beanies and cotton gloves. Tomorrow morning we’ll be prepared. Bring it on, winter! Well, actually…go easy. Please, I’m begging you, go easy. In thinking about preparing for winter, it occurred to me that we should discuss cold weather preparations and skills


Holiday Travel Tips for Families with Visually Impaired Children and Teens

Heading anywhere for the holidays? This year we’re opting to stay home and soak up two weeks of minimal commitments and maximum relaxation. I cannot wait to regroup and unwind. If you, on the other hand, are opting to visit family, sightsee, or vacation, you brave soul, and you aim to experience respite on your adventure…not to mention make the most (educationally) of your experience…read on. I’ve compiled a list of travel suggestions published on AFB and WonderBaby in years past. The only suggestions missing are yours! So, gather a few for yourself, and leave a few for others in the comment


Orientation and Mobility Resources for Your Teen Who Is Blind or Visually Impaired

Orientation and Mobility—it’s a hot topic for parents of teens with visual impairments. And you know what, I’m glad it is! It’s a matter on which we must intentionally focus; it’s a matter where we must raise our expectations; and it’s an area for which we must advocate! I can almost hear your thoughts— that’s a lot of work! Yes, it is a lot of work. We parents are bone-tired and often we’re striving for surviving. I am so right there with you. That’s why I’m coming along beside you as your encourager and urging you to fight the good fight, however tired we feel. [Okay, sometimes, just take the day off. Offer


Early Orientation and Mobility Concepts for Young Children Who Are Blind or Visually Impaired

Like a child learns to read and write only after extensive understanding of the building blocks that are letters and sounds, a child will eventually learn to safely and confidently navigate the environment only after extensive understanding of the building blocks of Orientation and Mobility (O&M). As a sighted parent of a child who is blind or visually impaired, you may initially believe you can’t teach the basic elements of O&M because you have little to no knowledge in the use of mobility tools and concepts. Not true! Sure, you will want the


Using the Expanded Core Curriculum in the School Setting

Editor's note: Today's blog post is from Amanda Bowdoin, M.Ed., a certified teacher of the visually impaired in Texas. She earned her master's degree in visual impairment from Stephen F. Austin State University. Amanda is also a mother of twins, JD and Oliva, who are 11 years old. Her son JD has CHARGE Syndrome and is deaf-blind. Using the Expanded Core Curriculum As a Safety Patrol By Amanda Bowdoin For my son, JD Bowdoin, a fifth grade young boy, it doesn’t matter what level of education he has or doesn’t have. It doesn’t matter what his mode of communication may be. All that matters to JD is


Halloween Weekend Activities for Your Child Who Is Blind or Visually Impaired

Happy Halloween from FamilyConnect! Are you looking for some fun, sensory activities for your child with a visual impairment this Halloween? With only a few days left, here are some ideas you and your child can do this weekend. We hope you will give these must-do activities a try and share your experience with us! Trick-or-Treating. Let’s be honest, what kid doesn’t love trick-or-treating? Dressing up and going around the neighborhood with your friends and family is the best part of Halloween. And talk about a great opportunity for your child to show off their


Transitions, Not So Easy!

Well, it is fall again, my favorite time of year. It's harvest, the weather is good, and finally the temperatures are where I like them. With fall season, begins the school year, another transition. And like fall, not always predictable. Change is inevitable, but not always easy and sometimes decisions have to be made. Evaluation from Perkins School for the Blind I’ve always wanted an evaluation for Vinnie at Perkins School for the Blind in Massachusetts. Perkins is 250 miles from our home and three states


"Trick-or-Treating" As an Orientation and Mobility Lesson- Oh Yeah!

Listen, this is where we get creative. Our kiddos want to trick-or-treat and that’s just what we’ll do. [Insert sneaky little laugh.] However, don’t think we can’t slip in some orientation and mobility throughout the process. Here’s what I have in mind. If trick-or-treating really is a motivator for your child, it’s time to invite your child to learn and practice a trick-or-treat route. If you don’t know the ins-and-outs of teaching a route, don’t


In Honor of White Cane Day 2016: What to Do When Your Child Refuses the Cane!

As the parent, family member, friend, or teacher of a child with a visual impairment, I’ll bet you feel enthusiastic over White Cane Day which we celebrate every October 15th. There’s something special about the cane, that’s for sure. We are proud of the youngster who has a visual impairment. We are excited about the white cane and the independence it represents. We are thankful for the protection the white cane offers. Yes,


This Fall, Maybe We Should Teach Our Children (With and Without Visual Impairments) It's Okay to Fall

When you read each of these sight words correctly to your teacher, maybe we can go to the donut store, I heard myself say to my seven-year-old. Her eyes grew big, I thought with excitement at the motivation. It took mere seconds to realize they widened out of panic. The pressure was on; she had to remember what c-o-u-l-d spelled, and she could not. What have I done?! I self-talked. I’ve made this about perfection and I’m only rewarding perfection. Why oh why would I do this to my daughter who hates failing? She places heaps of pressure onto herself and here


Summertime Activities to Advance Orientation and Mobility Skills

School’s out, the sun is beating down [have mercy!!], and most children are spending much more time at home. That’s right—summer’s in full swing, and my hope is that playtime is in full force. We know playing encourages creativity, problem solving, and social skills. Why not use play time as a fun means of advancing in Orientation and Mobility? Let’s put our heads together in effort to create a master list of activities that help our children practice Orientation and Mobility skills. First, browse FamilyConnect’s href="http://www.familyconnect.org/info/browse-by-age/grade-schoolers/parenting-and-family-life-


Why Might My Child with Low Vision Need Orientation and Mobility Training?

Imagine yourself, typically a fine traveler, walking up to the ticket counter to purchase one ticket for The Jungle Book. No problem, right? Double checking your ticket, you walk toward theater 10. You open the door and step forward. It's dark. "Oh great," you think, for you cannot navigate well in a dimly lit environment and this time you came alone. You stumble up the stairs; can't quite figure out which rows have empty seats; and half-way through the movie you question if you should risk a bathroom break. Yes, as many of


Inspired by the Holidays: Take an "Autumn Walk" and Encourage Your Child Who Is Blind or Visually Impaired to Discover the Sights, the Smells, and the Feel of Fall

I will never forget his question. My transition students and I were on a nature trail walk and it was a particularly rocky section. One teen who was totally blind opted for sighted guide, so I offered him my arm. We all strolled on and chatted; all except this one, typically talkative, teen. "What's on your mind?" I asked. "Ms. Shannon, how many snakes do you see?" he asked with a quivering voice. "What?! None! Why do you ask?" "I know snakes live in the woods. I thought you must see them all over the place." I assured him that snakes prefer to flee from the noise and if I saw one,


Odds and Ends and Homeschool in Braille

The joy of home school is setting your own school time. You also have the flexibility to change the time based on needs and progress. Three to three-and-a-half hours of day in home school translates into a good 5 to 6 hours of public school with arrive times, bells, class change, recess, lunch, and ready to go. That doesn’t even include bus time. The bus picks up the senior next door at 6:45 AM and returns at approximately 3:45. That is one heck of a long day. We use our time doing things like listening to a book and playing outside, getting “GASP” exercise. We also have more time to work on ADLS (activities of daily living skills).


Practical, Research-Based Tips for Preparing Your Teen who is Blind or Visually Impaired for Gainful Employment

As you prepare your visually impaired teenager for independence, remember to stay focused on the big picture by helping your teen discover what it will to take to prepare her for a satisfying adult life. This will almost surely mean your child will need to pursue training in independent living skills, Orientation and


White Cane Day: Post Your Picture!

Editor's Note: We welcome this post and project from Wonderbaby which is one of our favorite sites. Please participate as we would all love to see pictures of your darling child with their cane! We all have favorite holidays. I've always loved Easter with its spring crafts and Easter egg hunts, but of course nothing can really compare to Christmas! My son, Ivan, on the other hand, has the most fun on Halloween when he gets to dress up and visit all our neighbors to ask for candy. But ever since Ivan was diagnosed blind over 10 years ago, there's a new holiday that warms my


From Intolerable to Indispensable: Learning to Love my White Cane

I have not always loved my white cane. I’m twenty eight now and don’t like to be out of the house without my cane, even if I’m not using it. It gives me a sense of security and independence that I really don’t like to be without. But it was not always that way. Not at all. When I was a little girl, I hated my cane. It was “useless!” “Stupid!” “So annoying!” It was, in my young eyes, the symbol of everything that made me different. My teachers tried to get me to like it. They used every tactic they could think of. They tried forcing me to use it. They tried introducing me to other people who were cane users. They tried suggesting I


Erik Weheinmayer Employment Interview

You might know it is National Disability Employment Awareness Month, and I was offered the opportunity to share some information with you. I manage the American Foundation for the Blind's CareerConnect program. AFB CareerConnect is a career exploration, job seeking skills, navigating the employment process, and e-mentoring web program. You might guess that I am quite passionate about employment and the transition from school to work. In my work with AFB CareerConnect, I have been able to connect with fabulous and inspiring individuals who are blind or visually impaired. One of the coolest and one of my personal favorites has been Erik Weihenmayer, world-renowned


Parents, I Present You with “Your Roles” in Readying Your Child who is Blind or Visually Impaired for Future Employment

You know preparation for adult roles begins early. For this reason AFB FamilyConnect provides a “Transition to Independence” section within each age-specific category: Babies and Toddlers, Preschoolers, Grade


Parents of Teens Who Are Blind or Visually Impaired: The Foundation for Your Child’s Transition Goals This School Year

It feels like yesterday you first laid eyes on your precious one. I know. The days were long, but the years flew. Now it’s high school. High school! That means your child’s adulthood is rapidly approaching, and it’s time to prepare him or her for a satisfying life as a grown-up. If a “satisfying life as a grownup” truly is the goal, the important questions to ask your son and yourself in your quest to support him are: What leisure activities would my child enjoy as an adult? How can my child be active in his community? Where would my child want to live? What job would be a good fit for my child?


Parents of Children and Teens with Visual Impairments: “Your Goals” in Orientation and Mobility for the New School Year

While you can't learn orientation and mobility (travel) skills for your child who is blind or visually impaired, you certainly can support your child’s acquisition of skills. In fact, I want to share a variety of ways you can get involved, encourage, and motivate your child toward mobility success this school year. I call these “your goals,” should you accept them: Before the school year begins, formally introduce your daughter to her new


Back to School Tips for Older Students Who Are Blind or Visually Impaired

It is back to school season and thousands of students are returning to elementary schools, high schools, colleges, and universities. Many visually impaired students have to do special preparation to go back to school. As a graduate student I would like to suggest some tips in preparation for school. Preparation is very important for a student’s success in college but the most importantly in my opinion is your attitude about school. You have come this far in deciding or being enrolled in an institution—now with a little motivation and perseverance you will help yourself in the process of acquiring knowledge and skills that will help


How to Ease the Transition from Summer Break to a New School Year for Your Child Who Is Blind or Visually Impaired

Yes, it’s a substantial transition. One that repositions our children from the familiarity and comfort of home or daycare in the summer, to brand new classrooms, a different mix of student-peers, unfamiliar teachers, and more intense studies. But don’t fear, the transition from summer break to school can be done well with a little preparation and strategy, and perhaps a dash of fun! Ideas for easing the summer-to-school transition: Continually talk with your child about when school will begin, what he can expect at school, and his feelings regarding school. Sufficient sleep will be essential to our


Back to School Tips for Parents of Children Who Are Blind or Visually Impaired

Can it be true? Is it really time for back to school? It seems like the summer just started and here we are at the start of another school year. I hope you all were able to use some of the tips on the summertime activity posts we did on our summertime blog party with the website WonderBaby and all the bloggers who shared their posts. We hope to have more parties in the future as a way to share resources and ideas on important topics. In the next several weeks we will post blog entries on


Summer Blog Party: Hot Fun In the Summertime for Kids who Are Blind or Visually Impaired

We are kicking off the summer season with a roundup of items to help you make the most of activities, events, and just plain old ideas that can be fun. We are excited to be co-hosting a Summer Blog Party with WonderBaby. Bloggers, please join in by writing about your summer plans and sending us the links. We will share all the posts and links with families. From FamilyConnect you can sign up with FamilyConnect to get alerts as cool


Finding Fun Things to Do When You Are Visually Impaired

There are a couple of ways to find out fun things to do when you are visually impaired. Find local organizations or groups that organize events or activities. In my example, I found a running club organization called Achilles International. They organize races and events, and they pair volunteers with people with any disabilities to run or walk. There is probably a local organization that would have fun


In Honor of Father’s Day, A Son’s Thoughts About Parenthood and Blindness

With the Father's Day approaching, it is important to recognize the support and care of parents. I would like to share my experiences when growing up. Equality One of the things that my parents got right was promoting a sense of equality when growing up. Promoting equality for me means treating each child the same way and providing the same opportunities, rights, and responsibilities. I have an older brother but of course, all families are different you might be a single child or have several siblings. My parents always encouraged us to do things the same way even though I am visually impaired.


Harnessing Adversity: A Chat with Erik Weihenmayer and Amy Van Dyken-Rouen

We're delighted to host a guest post today from Buddy Levy, presenting his interview with Erik Weihenmayer and Amy Van Dyken-Rouen. What do a blind outdoor adventurer and an asthmatic six-time Olympic gold medalist swimmer have in common? Turns out, the same thing that all of us have in common in some form or other: adversity. Everyone faces adversitywhat matters is how they face it, according to Erik Weihenmayer and Amy Van Dyken-Rouen, who got together recently for a web-hangout interview ahead of this summer’s No Barriers Summit, to be held in Park City, Utah July 9-12. Van Dyken-Rouen, a celebrated U.S. Olympic swimmer who was paralyzed in 2014 in an ATV accident, is the event's keynote speaker at the opening ceremonies, and Weihenmayer, a


My Suggestions for College Success

We are pleased to introduce you to Irwin Ramirez who will be blogging for us this summer. Irwin is completing his Master’s Degree in computer science and is working as an intern for the American Foundation for the Blind’s web department. He will be sharing his experiences and perspective as a young adult who is blind. His areas of interest are accessibility consulting, web design and assistive technology training. He was born in Guatemala and moved to the United States when he is 17. I urge you to follow his blog, ask him questions and post comments. I would like to share my college experience as a visually impaired student. There


A Sense of Community

My sister invited me to her granddaughter’s (she’s 2) birthday party. I love to go because there are always lots of kids and it is outdoors. She bought a bouncy house and said I could use it for my boys’ birthday parties if I wanted to. Oh, major downer for me. I thanked her and said, “I guess you don’t understand that because my children are special needs, their social circle of age appropriate friends is smaller. We usually have family parties.” Actually, I’m glad she didn’t understand because she always includes our children in family gatherings. I make sure we have the means to deal with the need for a hasty exit if needed. We home school and our twins, age 8 are both special needs. Vinnie is blind. Brandon has hydrocephalus and a seizure


Celebrating White Cane Day

October is a month of celebration! National Disability Employment Awareness and National Hispanic Heritage Month are two examples, and let’s not forget Halloween.


Encourage Your Child’s Independence: Incorporate Orientation and Mobility Skills into Summertime Fun!

Summer is in full swing and soon we'll be celebrating the 4th of July! Most students are finished with school and everyone is busy with projects and summertime fun. This is a great time for children of all ages to practice the orientation and mobility skills and concepts they've learned, but in a fun way. I have written activities that can be done at any time during the year but summer can provide lots of opportunities for these activities. There are appropriate


Celebrating White Cane Safety Day, October 15!

On October 15th, we will be celebrating White Cane Safety Day. This day has been set aside as a national observance since 1964 to celebrate the achievement of people who are blind or visually impaired and the importance of the white cane as a symbol of blindness and a tool for independence. It's easy to find a lot of references on the web about this day, from Wikipedia, which explains the history behind this day, to regional celebrations describing events past, present, and future. Although this observance has been in existence for almost 40


White Canes for Christmas

I am delighted to introduce Judith Lesner as our guest blogger, to report on a special project with Parents Advocating for Visually Impaired Children (PAVIC), NAPVI's Philippine affiliate. In September 2009 Susan LaVenture and I attended the PAVIC Congress in Quezon City, Philippines. I have a long connection with the Philippines going back to my serving there with the Peace Corps from 1963 to 1966. I was planning a trip back to visit my town there when Susan told me about the conference. It was obvious that I was meant to attend as it was right around when I had planned to make my trip. Parents Advocating for Visually Impaired Children (PAVIC) is NAPVI's Philippine affiliate and the sponsor of the three-day conference. At the conference there were


Rocking the White Cane and His Skills: Little Boy Learning to Use His White Cane

You may have seen a recent video that has been popping up online, a little 4-year-old boy who is blind or visually impaired learning to use his cane. The little boy is learning to find the curb and step down. The white cane is a tool used by people who are blind or visually impaired to help travel independently. People who are blind or visually impaired are taught to use a white cane; it doesn't just happen or grow out their hand like an X-Men character. (That might be cool if it did. Think, "Extend white cane, wham!" I threw in the sound effect for your entertainment.)


Three New Hosted Message Boards on FamilyConnect

We are delighted to announce the introduction of three new hosted message boards on FamilyConnect. The topics are the Parents of Infants and Toddlers board moderated by Kay Ferrell, Education moderated by Susan Spungin, and


I Never Travel Without "Slim"—Happy White Cane Day!

In honor of White Cane Day, I figured I would tell you why I truly appreciate my white cane. I am Joe Strechay, and I work for the American Foundation for the Blind. I am visually impaired, legally blind, blind, or however you want to describe me. I have about 2 degrees of vision or so in each eyeor so I am told. I wanted to take the time to tell you why I appreciate my white cane, which I have nicknamed "Slim." I chose Slim because he is a skinny fellow who travels with me all over the United Stateshe doesn't take up much room or even steal part of my seat on the plane. (Don't you hate that?) Well,


Celebrating White Cane Safety Day: Raising Independent Children

White Cane Safety Day was first observed in 1964 by President Lyndon B. Johnson, as a way to celebrate the independence and ability of people who are visually impaired. Independence and ability does not just happen, it has to be taught, fostered, and encouraged by the team of people surrounding your child, most especially his family, because unfortunately our school systems are taking an ever greater focus on the "core curriculum," math, English, etc., and how he'll perform on a standardized test this year, and even less interest in what your kid will be doing with his life when he's 28 years old and dating, job seeking, or buying a house. The core


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