For Immediate Release: 10/5/2022 1:17 pm
WORCESTER – The City of Worcester presents its ninth annual White Cane Safety Awareness Day on Saturday, Oct. 15, culminating in a debrief session at the Worcester Public Library’s Saxe Room. Blind-folded community leaders will finish a walk with sighted guides on a course on city streets, highlighting challenges faced by the blind community and walkability in the city in general.
Attorney Liz Myska, vice-chair of the city’s Accessibility Advisory Commission, together with the City’s Office on Human Rights and Accessibility, led by Jayna Turchek, are again hosting this one-of-a-kind event to educate community leaders, drivers of vehicles in the Commonwealth, and the public at-large, of the need to observe the white cane law, and the challenges — and opportunities – faced by the blind community as they travel on the city’s sidewalks.
This free event on Oct. 15 starts at 11 a.m. in the Saxe Room, is open to the public, has in the past included city councilors, city department heads, university deans and chancellors, public safety officers, and other dignitaries who are leaders in the community. This year’s event will include similar leaders, from Worcester and Boston. The blind-folded walkers will depart from an unannounced location, traverse the city streets, and return to the Saxe Room to share their experiences, and recommendations for improving walkability for everyone, whether sighted or not.
“This has had a profound effect on me,” said Dr. Louis Frank, Mass College of Pharmacy & Health Sciences, School of Optometry. “I realized I’ll be able to take off my blindfold, but people who are blind, will continue to be blind.”
“I’ve been a police officer for 30 years, and I’ve never been so terrified,” said Deputy Chief Ed McGinn, Worcester Police Department
Attorney Liz Myska, legally blind since 2008, and her network of trained sighted guides, drivers and volunteers, has been an advocate for the blind, creating immersive training events to build an inclusive environment for everyone. She has been a commissioner with the city’s Accessibility Advisory Commission (formerly known as the Commission on Disabilities) for nine years.
Again this year, the debrief session will be streamed live on EyeAudioRadio.org, and hosted by its founder, Jack Peacock. Seating is limited, so registration is required for the audience. For registration and contact information you can reach Jack Peacock at 678-938-0504 or EyeAudioRadio@gmail.com.