Raising Awareness for “White Cane Week” – Feb 7th – 13th
WHITE CANE WEEK
Feb 7th – 13th, 2021
This is an important week of raising public awareness of the challenges facing Canadians living with vision loss is normally marked by events including, open houses, informational forums… sponsored by CCB chapters within their local communities.
2020/2021 has been a challenging and confusing year for everyone especially our treasured individuals who are blind, deaf-blind, or living with low vision. The CCB (Canadian Council of the Blind) is the voice of the blind in Canada and are committed to improving the quality of life for persons with vision loss through awareness, peer mentoring, socializing, sports, advocacy, health promotion and illness prevention.
Many of the events that are normally organized in many communities across Canada have had to be postponed for this year due to the Covid pandemic, but the CCB (Canadian Council of the Blind) still wants to raise public awareness of the importance of White Cane Week and it’s importance in the lives of those living with vision loss.
History of White Cane Week
In 1921, a photographer named James Biggs, of Bristol, England was blinded in an accident. Released from hospital, he had the idea of painting his cane white so it could be easily seen at night.
The advantages of the white cane soon became apparent as people alerted to Biggs’ blindness assisted his movements with guidance and warning of obstacles.
Biggs’ innovation soon became an internationally accepted symbol of blindness. Today, nine provinces have legislation which restrict the use of the White Cane to those legally blind.
Since 1946, the first week of February has traditionally been “White Cane Week” in Canada, due to the CCB’s initiative.
The objective of White Cane Week has always been educational. Each year a theme and/or slogan is adopted for White Cane Week. This serves to focus public attention on a facet of blindness and visual impairment.
The CCB’s 80 plus Clubs give the campaign an effective national base. The grass roots network provides local support for the broader national awareness campaign.
From the first ever White Cane Week, with only a handful of individuals who were blind or vision impaired participating, White Cane Week has become a national network of special events, hands-on demonstrations, open houses, and tours taking place from coast to coast.
Over the years, the White Cane Week program has evolved to reflect the changing situations of people who are blind and vision impaired.
In early years, the Week was used to demonstrate the concerns for good rehabilitation and blindness prevention. However, in more recent times, events have begun to emphasize the equal capabilities and talents of people who are blind and vision impaired.
For More Information about or to donate to
“White Cane Week” in Canada or the Canadian Council of the Blind visit