When Paul Berscheidt from the Central Kansas Association for the Blind and Visually Impaired told me that white canes are intended to help sighted people as much as they help people who are blind or have vision impairment, I knew exactly what he was talking about.
From time to time I need to use a cane to help me keep my balance as I walk. Whenever that happens, there comes a point in my recovery where I can walk just as well with or without the cane, but I’m still a little slower than usual. I have noticed that whether I am walking through a crowded store or attempting to cross a street, people at “normal speed” will come dangerously close unless they see me with a cane. It can feel like they’re about to knock you down as they go by or dart in front of you. Good luck gimping across a busy street.
When I carry a cane, people give me a little more space, and motorists are much more considerate as I walk across the street.
Last Sunday was White Cane Safety Day and CKAVI members reminded us that if you see a person with a long cane or an assistance animal, that person may be blind or visually impaired. He or she may step into a crosswalk without knowing that a car is also turning into the same intersection. Hint to motorists: The pedestrian has the right-of-way.
On another topic, I have been getting emails with the subject title, “JCPenney Hiring 450 Seasonal Associates in Kansas.” The retail giant wants employees for the Christmas season and needs cashiers, “replenishment specialists” — probably what you or I would call stockers — and more. Great — if only we still had a JCPenney store!
What sort of business(s) would you readers like to see in the former JCPenney building?
Coming up, I wanted to let you know about a couple of free programs.
There will be musical performances to please all musical tastes at the Central Kansas Piano Teachers League “Girls’ Recital” at 2:30 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 22, in the Shafer Art Gallery at Barton Community College. The recital features girls of all ages and levels of performance from beginning pedagogy to advanced levels. It is free and open to the public.
Members of the CKPTL entering students to perform are Darlene Boley, Becky Dudrey, Karole Erikson, Marlene Regher and Lorrie Stickney. Members of the CKPTL are also members of Kansas Music Teachers Association and Music Teachers National Association.
The Girls’ Recital is presented on alternate years with the Boys in Blue Jeans Recital.
And on Friday, Oct. 27, join the FHSU Astronomy Club at the Kansas Wetlands Education Center for an awesome evening of exploring the night sky from 7:30-9 p.m. KWEC Educator Jean Aycock invites stargazers to take advantage of Cheyenne Bottoms’ dark skies to enjoy a breathtaking view of the stars. The FHSU Astronomy Club will bring telescopes. Saturn and its rings will be a highlight of the evening. Dress warmly, it could be chilly! The KWEC will provide refreshments, including hot cocoa.
Susan Thacker is news editor of the Great Bend Tribune and a regular contributor to 530News. Send comments to firstname.lastname@example.org.