The Lighthouse for the Blind, Inc. held its second annual celebration of White Cane Safety Day on October 15th. Representatives from local blindness agencies, state, and local government joined Lighthouse employees and donors gathered at the newly opened Mount Baker Light Rail station to commemorate this day honoring the blind and Deaf-Blind communities.

Mayor Greg Nickels was on hand to deliver his official proclamation of White Cane Day while Sound Transit CEO Joni Earl served as the keynote speaker for the event. Ms. Earl’s work on the Light Rail opened up a new avenue for accessible travel for blind and Deaf-Blind people throughout Seattle. “Sound Transit under Joni’s leadership has been sensitive to the need for accessibility for all riders. In addition to establishing a Citizen’s Accessibility Advisory Committee, features such as clear signage and audible / tactile pedestrian signals have resulted in a more user-friendly system,” says Government Relations Specialist Mark Landreneau. “The Light Rail has allowed blind and Deaf-Blind people more independence and a greater quality of life.”

Mark closed the event with the following thoughts: “At the heart of this event is the desire for ALL people, blind and Deaf-Blind among them, to be able to travel via bus and train throughout our city to their jobs, their homes, their daily activities independently and safely. By being here today, community members are saying this is a worthwhile endeavor.”