White Cane Day: ‘Give us space and treat us as equals’

At Leiden Central, volunteers from Leiden’s Eye Platform and Association handed out ballpoint pens with signs to passersby. (Photo: Jerry Van Buckle).

Sometimes it happens to Kirsten Veldhoen that she ends up halfway on someone’s lap on a train or someone pushes forward at the check-in gates. Using public transportation is not always easy. But as a blind or visually impaired person you have no choice. You cannot ride a bike or drive by yourself. This is why the Eye Association draws attention to road safety.

At Leiden Central, Kirsten Veldhoen and Rik Wouters from the South Holland Division of the Eye Association distributed ballpoint pens to passersby on “International White Cane Day”. The fountain pen has a foldable banner with the most important points to make traffic sharing safer and more enjoyable for people with visual impairments.

“Give people space,” says Veldwin. “And if you see that someone seems to be having trouble finding their way, ask them if you can help someone. Preferably without touching that person. So you also get a chance to say you don’t need help, because you want to try it yourself. Treat us equally. “.

On International White Cane Day, blind and partially sighted people are drawing attention to their situation in traffic, reports reporter Jerry Van Backel.

Not everyone has the time this Saturday morning. Especially the people who walk to the station in a hurry to catch their train. Others are willing to talk. They know the white cane, but most of them have not heard of this day on October 15th. “It’s good to be taken care of,” says a woman with an idea that the station yard is in good condition. “I don’t think you can fall here even if you wanted to.” This happened to a guy with a walker a few minutes ago.

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Another woman finds the arena terrifying. “Everyone commutes together. It’s so messy, and I don’t like it myself.” Another passerby annoyed by the bikes on the ribbed bars on the sidewalks. “You understand what they are for.” A boy on his way to Walibi with a group of friends takes cartoon glasses that cover most of your eyes. “You really don’t see anything anymore. I don’t know how to go about this. Respect these people.”

Al Ain Café
If you want more information about the work of the Eye Society They can visit their website. In Leiden there is an Eye Café every first Friday of the month at Huis van de Buurt in Stevenshof. Next time is Friday 4 November, starting at 13.30. Register via the site.

Leiden community area

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