Nearly 70 IESBVI students registered for National White Cane Safety Day celebrations, which were held throughout October in Iowa. White Cane Safety Day is officially Oct. 15, and is a recognition of individuals within the blind and visually impaired community for their declaration and pursuit of independence.
Thirteen separate events were held, most utilizing local pumpkin patches to practice components of the expanded core curriculum (ECC). The unwritten goal of fun for everyone, however, was also achieved! Hay rides, petting zoos, bouncy pillows, barrel train rides, wacky slides and numerous other traditional fall farm attractions provided multiple opportunities for students to experience independent mobility, choice making, spatial awareness, tactile exploration, socialization and how to support others.
Often, an IESBVI student may be the sole pupil in a school or school district who is blind or visually impaired. IESBVI’s Extended Learning Program not only supports ECC, it offers moments of discovery and belonging, too. One student was surprised to meet another student with a white cane, asking, “She can’t see, either?”
When the Extended Learning team resurrected White Cane Day Celebrations in 2017, there were 51 participants registered and six events offered. Activities have ranged from exploring tourist sites in nearby towns of students’ homes, to touring their county courthouses and meeting elected officials.
For more information on the IESBVI Extended Learning Program: Contact Susan Rolinger.