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Locals raise awareness for the blind and visually impaired through “White Cane Safety Day”

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The City of Harrisburg is joining the nation in raising awareness about blindness and the visually impaired.

It's part of a national campaign called "White Cane Safety Day." The event helps remind pedestrians and motorists of the state's safety laws for those with visual disabilities. The white cane has become a symbol of independence.

Harrisburg Mayor Eric Papenfuse received some first-hand experience during a demonstration held in Harrisburg. With a blindfold, the mayor received a brief lesson on how to cross the street using a cane.

Organizers want the public to understand the mobility tool's importance.

"We love to bring people together, we love stretching people's minds and imagination that people who are disabled. Once they receive the proper training on how to use a cane, how to use technology, how to use an i-phone--  they can get education training to go to work and be independent," Pennsylvania Bureau of Blindness and Visual Services Director David Denotaris said.

Local agencies in Dauphin, Cumberland, Perry, and Franklin Counties also held events for "White Cane Safety Day."

The event was hosted by the Department of Labor and Industry's BBVS. "White Cane Safety Day" also falls within National Disability Employment Awareness Month which raises awareness about disability employment issues, and celebrates the contributions of Americans with disabilities.