The UPMC Vision Institute observed White Cane Day on October 10.
This national observance is held every year on October 15. Since that fell on a Sunday this year, staff from UPMC, the Bureau of Blindness and Visual Services (BBVS), and the Blind and Vision Rehabilitation Services of Pittsburgh (BVRS) gathered in the west atrium of the Vision Institute a few days early.
About 30 people attended from the community and toured the space. Some were from Western Pennsylvania School for Blind Children, some were from the Western PA School for the Deaf, while others were patients, BBVS constituents, and staff.
Adaptive equipment demonstrations were offered, along with hands-on navigation activities using the white cane and a sighted guide. Visitors saw the Low Vision Department, the Orientation and Mobility Garden, and the StreetLab.
“We were very grateful to have been invited by BBVS to host, and participate in, this year’s White Cane Day,” said Lawton Snyder, CEO of the Eye & Ear Foundation. “The UPMC Vision Institute was represented by Dr. Jose Alain Sahel and Dr. Will Smith, who addressed the group that gathered in the atrium along with Bureau Director Dawn Sokol. The emphasis was to bring awareness to the importance of using the white cane, or other devices to provide mobility assistance to people with vision loss. This is very much in line with what the UPMC Vision Institute is focusing on with the patient-centric model of care developed by Dr. Sahel and his team.”