Wednesday, October 15, 2014

White Cane Safety Day

Living as a blind woman in a sighted world is definitely a challenge!  With very limited vision, (10/700 in my right eye and my left eye having not enough vision to measure accurately) there are things I'm simply not able to do, such as drive a car, see street and building signs, or recognize people by sight.  However, advances in technology have allowed blind people to do almost anything a sighted person can.

Carmine checks out my cane.
(Sorry for the blurriness. It's hard to capture a moving cat.)

The white cane is something that allows visually impaired individuals to travel safely and independently.  The white cane can tell us where steps are, when there are objects in our paths, and when we've reached street crossings.  White canes also inform sighted individuals that we have vision problems.

My cane is especially good at keeping me from running into people on the street and helping me find my way around dark and/or unfamiliar places.

You can see a short demonstration on how visually impaired people use their white canes in the video below.  If you cannot see the video below, you can ge here and view it.



Not only am I blessed to be able to get to places on my own with the assistance of my cane, I am very blessed to have a kitty who seems to understand that his mommy can't see very well.

Carmine always meows at me before he jumps up in my chair or onto my bed to let me know he's on his way up.  If I'm walking around the apartment in the dark, Carmine will meow at me to let me know where he is, too.  It's really nice that he seems to understand my limitations.

Today is White Cane Safety Day.  It's a day to recognize and celebrate the accomplishments of visually impaired people as well as their independence  Take some time to recognize and appreciate the visually impaired people in your life today.

I'm pretty open about my blindness, so please feel free to ask me any questions you have in the comments and I'll leave you a comment reply with an answer.

37 comments:

  1. That is very interesting, Sierra! Mum used to work for a charity for the blind and learnt quite a bit about how to be around people with little or no sight. Technology is amazing now in the way people can be helped to live a more engaged life.

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    1. It's so cool that your mom used to work with a charity for the blind, Austin! There are so many things we can learn from those with different abilities than our own :)

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  2. good job Carmine!!! we didn't know this day existed but it is nice to get more info out there for everyone!

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  3. So very interesting. You are a good kitty, Carmine, to be sure your mom knows where you are.

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    1. Thanks for your comment! Carmine is such a good boy; I couldn't have asked for a better mancat <3

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  4. Sierra, I had no idea that your sight was so limited! Carmine sounds like such a sweetheart and special companion.

    I have an aunt that is both blind and deaf. She has a full life and is quite amazing.

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    1. I'm so glad your aunt has such a full life, Melissa! There are so many things out there to help these days :)

      Carmine is definitely a special kitty!

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  5. I did not realize your sight was limited. I'm glad Carmine seems to be aware of this, I can't imagine how shocking it must be to have a cat jump in your lap and catch you unaware.

    My Sister in Law is legally blind so I know you have some challenges, but you seem like you've got a good handle on it.

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    1. Thanks, Jodi! It can definitely be surprising to have a kitty suddenly appear in your lap if you don't she is there, haha. Carmine and Milita actually wear bells with different tones so I can tell them apart when they aren't near me.

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  6. How cool that Carmine interacts with you by voice - he's a very smart kitty! My human though the video was very informative - she's seen people on the street with white canes before, of course, but never thought about exactly how they are using them.

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    1. Carmine is a smart mancat, indeed. We are glad your mom liked the video. Hopefully one of these years, our Mom will be able to go to BlogPaws and meet your mom :)

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  7. carmine...way kewl that ewe help yur mom like that...de food serviss gurl haza good friend who is visually impaired N her sister teeches at de skewl for de blind ...

    haz yur mom had vision troubles all her life .... ?

    that's de one thing R mom's sister finds de hardest about her teeching job; teeching those who once had site; especially de kids.... coz they, of course, remember being able TO see...N sum times answering their questionz ....iz hard

    de gift of sight is a blessing, N not one that shuld be taken for granted ♥♥♥♥♥

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    1. Losing sight is so incredibly hard. It must be heartbreaking to see kids who are or have lost sight. Our Mom has had vision problems since hers was five months old, so hers doesn't remember what it is like to have all of hers sight.

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  8. Cats are so clever at sensing these things...it's awesome that she meows to let you know where she is, or that she's about to jump up.

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    1. Kitties are definitely intelligent fur babies!

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  9. Carmine is amazing =) Good kitty for helping her person out.
    Purrs.

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  10. I didn't know you had vision difficulty either, that Carmine probably meant to tell me but forgot.

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  11. I gives u a hug. U a nice hoomin! 🐩

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  12. There are some peeps that have visual challenges, where meowmy works...

    But they do not actively use those white canes.

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    1. We bet your mommy has learned some other things from the people she works with, too.

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  13. We knew your sight was bad, we didn't imagine it was so limited ! It's amazing that you write, comment, ... We understand better the importance of the titles in the photos (title is not the right word, we miss the right one) to help you to see what's on it ! Paws up for all what you do, and paws up to Carmine who tells you what you cannot see ! Purrs

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  14. That is an excellent video. I subscribed to his YouTube channel. You remind me that I need to do better in my posts to describe what is in the picture. I understand about the relationship between you and Carmine so well. Here, Pungy, especially, is the one I call my nurse kitty. It is as if she can tell when I'm having a bad "mental" day or my schizo symptoms like the paranoia are worse, or my concentration is just absent. She will stick to me like glue. It's amazing how often animals can be so much more sensitive than us humans!

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  15. White Cane Day is a good reminder to keep an eye out for those who may need a little bit of extra help when they're out in the world. It's wonderful that Carmine "knows" and is sensitive to be of help in the apartment - some kitties are so tuned in that they can be service cats to their owners in SO many ways.

    Hugs, Sammy

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  16. Thank you for sharing this information. I didn't even know you had a vision problem, I am amazed at how much you do. http://15andmeowing.com

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  17. You reminded Mommy of her bestest friend (although she really doesn't need reminding) who passed away almost two years ago. Loulou was blind since birth, but never let it stop her. Mommy will always miss her and the trouble they used to get into together (i.e. fun). She could see colors, so she loved calico kitties!!

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  18. That Carmine is one smart (and thoughtful and helpful) mancat! The street where I work in NYC has an organization for the visually impaired, so I often see people using their white canes in the ways you shared. :)

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  19. So glad you have things that help you get through the world with less impairment.

    Debby in Arizona
    http://homelesscatcare.blogspot.com/

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  20. Sierra, you do an amazing job at making it through life without vision. Growing up, my best friend's mother was blind and she has always been one of the coolest people I've ever known. I'm glad that you have Carmine to be your buddy through it all.

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  21. You really do such a good job with your limit on seeing. And Carmine is so nice to let you know that she is going to jump up on you.
    We wanted to thank you so much for the purrs for Mew Mew. They sure did work. She is feeling much better. So thanks.

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  22. That was so fascinating! And we're very impressed by Carmine - he is a true partner and companion for you!

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  23. We had no idea your sight was so impaired. How sweet that Carmine keeps an eye out for you and helps you out :) Cats are amazing, and you are inspiring!

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  24. We didn't know this about you. Carmine seems to have turned himself into a bit of a service cat all on his own. One of Mom's best friends is blind. She has a seeing-eye dog. In fact she just got a new one as the current one has retired. Mommy loves to pick her friend up and take her places as when the dog is in the car it is not considered "working" and Mom can share loving with it. I guess our question would be, have you always been legally blind or has it been gradual? Mom's friend has retinitis pigmentosis. XO, Lily Olivia, Mauricio, Misty May, Giulietta, Fiona, Astrid, Lisbeth and Calista Jo

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