White Cane Day 2016 - Big Success!
Over 125 people attended this year’s White Cane Day event at Dallas City Hall. Participants came from Dallas, Seagoville, Lewisville, Plano, Allen, and Forney independent school districts. There were many volunteers and advocates from Lions Clubs, Texas Workforce Solutions, and Project Vision. Dallas chapter of American Council of the Blind also expanded their monetary generosity to help with expenses. Thank you goes to the gracious food sponsors; Razing Canes #76 - The Pony Express, was appreciated to the fullest extent for the 3rd consecutive year and ice-cream sandwiches were contributed by Vanda Pharmaceutical.
The event began with our national anthem led by Joanna Hatcher. The follow speakers delivered key messages for the attendees.
- Delivering Mayor Mike Rawlings’ White Cane Day Proclamation, was Dallas District 5’s Councilman Rick Callahan. Our state Proclamation from TX Governor Greg Abbott was read by Kelsie Benjamin from TX District #32’s Congressman Pete Sessions staff.
- Texas Workforce Solutions’ Field Director Rolinda Duran spoke about their offering of services for those who are Blind and visually impaired.
- Chris and Shawna represented Vanda Pharmaceutical on the subject of the primary sleep disorder effecting people with visual impairment known as Non-24.
- National & Employment Specialist Neva Fairchild with American Foundation of the Blind’s Center on Vision Loss spoke on their services for the Blind and Visually Impaired.
- Executive Vice President with Dallas Lighthouse for the Blind Laura Klein spoke on the many positive events taking place for their 85th year in service. She also spoke about improving employment opportunities and services which are on the increase.
- Cabinet Secretary Billy Ketner with Lions District 2-X1 spoke on the topics of their contributions on blindness prevention, and their involvement in the blind community.
- Attendee Ladon shared his inspirational story on overcoming his total sight loss late in life. He encouraged people to join All Eyes Support Group.
- Joanna Hatcher represented Foundation Fighting Blindness and their upcoming walk April 1st.
- Project Vision was well represented by Frixon and Prem. They also made a pledge to assist the blind community on several levels. They made a generous contribution to the Dallas Lighthouse for the Blind’s donor supported services.
- National Federation of the Blind (NFB) Dallas Chapter President Rhanda Hasley spoke about their support group, and her Christian Fellowship for the Blind and Visually Impaired Group.
- Tamera with DART Paratransit’s Ambassador’s talked about their assistance for the blind and visually impaired community.
- Melva Henderson spoke about her weekly support grou-0p called Focus.
- Selina Coronado talked about the fulfillment of being an O&M Instructor and helping people who are blind to become independent in their travel.
- Pamela Ajai with Alice Gibbins Jones Foundation was our final speaker, talking about their growing college scholarship program supporting the blind and visually impaired.
This event continues to grow awareness and enthusiasm toward progress and advocacy for people who are blind and visually impaired in North Texas. If you are a person who is totally or legally blind, please continue to inspire others, as you exhibit your expanding independence through travel, education, employment and recreation. Thanks to Blake Lindsay, Communications Manager at the Dallas Lighthouse for the Blind and Neva Fairchild, National & Employment Specialist at American Foundation for the Blind (Dallas) for their coordination of this year’s event.