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Blindness events raise awareness

10/11/2012 - West Side Leader
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By Letter to the Editor

To the editor:

The showing of the movie “Going Blind” and White Cane Day are two important upcoming events that can and should increase public awareness of visual impairment. Due to the aging of baby boomers and the survival of infants who have complications, prevalence of visual impairment is increasing on both ends of the age spectrum.

On Sunday, Oct. 14, at 2 p.m., the documentary “Going Blind” will be shown on our public television channel WVIZ PBS ideastream. This 80-minute film is directed by award-winning writer, producer and director Joseph Lovett, who is losing his vision due to an aggressive form of glaucoma. Lovett takes you into the personal lives of six individuals of varying ages who themselves have experienced the challenges associated with vision loss. These individuals tell amazing stories of how they have learned to live satisfying and independent lives using resources, adaptive aids and technology. More information on the movie is available at www.goingblindmovie.com.

The following day, Oct. 15, is White Cane Day. The white cane and training to use it, now called orientation and mobility training, was initially developed by Dr. Richard Hoover to help veterans who were blinded in battle during World War II. In 1964, a joint resolution of Congress signed into law a proclamation designating Oct. 15 as White Cane Safety Day.

It is Ohio state law that all drivers must yield the right of way to every blind person who is carrying a white cane or using a dog guide. All drivers and all law enforcement personnel should be aware of the white cane law, which is the Ohio Revised Code rule number 4511.47, titled “Right-of-way of blind person.”

Cheryl Reed, O.D., COMS, Bath

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