It is recognised that sticks, staffs and canes have been used since biblical times by blind people throughout the world as a way of moving safely around their environment.
However, It wasn’t until 1921 when Englishman James Biggs went blind that the white cane became a symbol for the blind. Biggs, a photographer from Bristol who was blinded through an accident, painted his cane white in order to be more visible to motorists. James knew from his sighted days just how the colour white stood out in his dark room, so went about experimenting with his stand out cane.
Since then there have been many types of white canes developed around the world including two stripes being added to indicate the cane user is Deafblind.
In 1964, US President Lyndon B. Johnson went down in history as the first to proclaim October 15, as White Cane Safety Day.
Thanks James Biggs! If it wasn’t for your actions, your curiosity and your creativity I wouldn’t be going out the front door right now with my international sign of blindness!
Thanks for your wisdom too!