The OAB is providing these list of available resources and links for informational purposes only. We will not assume responsibility for the information
contained on each of the entities web sites, nor will we assume responsibility for the quality and quantity of the services provided. If you know of other
resources we should include here,
Please Contact Us.
Computers for the Blind
Local Blind Advocacy Groups
American Council of the Blind of Nebraska
Nebraska Federation of the Blind Omaha Chapter
Skills Training and Employment Opportunities for the blind
Outlook Nebraska, Inc.
Nebraska Commission for the Blind and Visually Impaired
1313 Farnam on the Mall, Third Floor
Omaha, NE 68102-1822
- (402) 827-9814
Long White Canes
Do you need a free white cane?
OAB’s White Cane Safety PSA
Nebraska White Cane Laws
Nebraska State Law 20-128 – Drivers of motor vehicles must stop for a person using a white cane in the street. Drivers need to stay stopped until the road is clear. http://uniweb.legislature.ne.gov/laws/statutes.php?statute=20-128
If you are driving a motor vehicle and you fail to stop for a person using a white cane you are breaking the law. http://uniweb.legislature.ne.gov/laws/statutes.php?statute=28-1314
Drivers who break these laws face the consequences associated of a Class III misdemeanor. http://uniweb.legislature.ne.gov/laws/statutes.php?statute=28-1314
According to the Nebraska DMV Driver’s Manual, a person using a white cane or guide dog ALWAYS has the right of way. http://www.dmv.nebraska.gov/examining/pdf/engdrivermanual.pdf
Neb 20-127 People using a white cane have the same rights as anyone else to to use public streets, sidewalks and buildings. http://uniweb.legislature.ne.gov/laws/statutes.php?statute=20-127
White cane laws in other states.
White Cane History
For 2,000 years, and likely longer, the blind have used various forms of sticks, staffs and canes as a tool to help alert them to obstacles in their path. In 1930, a Lion’s Club member watched as a blind man across a busy street using a black cane and recognized that the black cane was barely visible to the motorists. The Lion’s Club decided to paint the cane white to increase its visibility. In 1931, the Lion’s Club International began a national program promoting the use of white canes for persons who were blind.
During the 1920s and 1930s, the blind walked with their canes held diagonally in a fixed position, and the role of the white cane took on a symbolic role, as an identifier. The first special White Cane Ordinance was passed in 1930 in Peoria, Illinois. It granted blind pedestrians protections and the right-of-way while carrying a white cane. In 1937, Michigan passed the first state law that gave the carrier of the White Cane protection while traveling on the streets.
When so many blinded American veterans of World War II returned home, the form and the use of the white cane was altered to help them return to participatory lifestyles. The “long cane” was developed and the travel method returned back to its original role as a tool for mobility, while maintained the symbolic role as an identifier of blind independence the carrier.
In the early 1960’s, several state organizations and rehabilitation agencies serving the blind urged Congress to proclaim October 15th of each year to be White Cane Safety Day in all fifty states. On October 6, 1964, HR 753 was signed into law authorizing the President of The United States of America to proclaim October 15th of each year as “White Cane Safety Day”. The annual proclamation re-emphasizes the significance of the use of the white cane as both a tool and as a visible symbol. Each year, October 15th serves as a reminder that with proper training, people using the white cane can enjoy greater mobility, safety and freedom, to participate to in all aspects of life that Society offers to all people.
How to use a white cane
This is a video that describes the basics for using and traveling with a long white cane. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VV9XFzKo1aE
How to help a person who is blind
Never grab or re-direct a person who is blind without asking.
Never pet a guide dog who is wearing it’s “working” harness or give directions to a guide dog instead of to it’s handler.
Instead, if you think someone needs help
1. Introduce yourself
- Use your name and their name if you know it
- Say which direction you are approaching from
- Say when you approach or leave a visually impaired person you are talking to
- Say when you enter or leave a room that a visually impaired person.
2. Ask, Do you need any help?
- Don’t be offended if a person who is visually impaired doesn’t need your help.
- As blind people we have to come up with ways of doing things and getting places that work for us. What looks wrong to one person, may work right for another. People who are blind use different cues, clues and landmarks than people who can see.
3. Help as needed
- Don’t just assume that you know what a person needs.
- People with white canes or guide dogs have all different levels of vision and different levels of skills
- Ask if a person would like to take your arm or wants you to be their guide.
- Ask what kind of things the person needs described to them such as direction, street names, stairs, people passing or landmarks.
Tips for how to be a sighted guide