Braille Institute students urge the public to understand the white cane

PALM SPRINGS, Calif. - Raul Resendiz loves to walk around downtown Palm Springs and his neighborhood.

"Important for me is I need independence. Right now, I'm independent," Resendiz said. 

He said he feels independent because of his white cane.

Resendiz joined other Braille Institute students, staff and volunteers on National White Cane Day to send an important message about the cane.

The group handed out flyers to people in downtown Palm Springs. On them, questions such as "What is a white cane?", "Who uses a white cane?", and "What should you do if you encounter a person who is blind?"

"A lot of times people may try to be too helpful. Typically if you see a visually impaired person with a cane or blind dog, there's no need to attempt to help them unless they ask for your help," Felice Chiapperini from the Braille Institute Rancho Mirage said. 

"When you see someone on the street. Be a little more careful. Never pull or push somebody with a cane," Guadalupe Gonzalez from the Braille Institute Rancho Mirage said. 

Resendiz hopes drivers and other pedestrians stay aware and patient. 

"When we are walking on the street, they need to respect us when you see someone with a white cane," he said. 

It's not just a cane, but a lifeline. 

"I go everywhere with this white cane. It makes me feel free," he said. 

Information and educational material will be available at the braille institute in rancho mirage this entire week.  

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