Local Organization Seeks to Educate the Community

The month of October brings many things: cooler weather, football and Breast Cancer Awareness Month. However, there is another cause to shine awareness on this month.

White Cane Awareness strives to bring attention to the general population about the blind and their rights. The Tallahassee Chapter of the National Federation of the Blind seek to promote the general welfare of the blind in Tallahassee.

“Many people are not aware of the blind and their rights,” said Toni King, the Tallahassee NFB vice-president. “One right in particular is that the blind have the right of way when crossing the street. Many blind people have been struck with cars because of right turn on red. So that’s why we are here, to educate and advocate for our rights.”

To bring more spotlight to White Cane Awareness month the Tallahassee Chapter of the National Federation of the Blind hosted The Sea Mobile, a traveling sea lab that gives visitors a chance to interact and touch live sea specimens.

Sea urchins, seahorses and horseshoe crabs were displayed for residents to see and touch.

“We did this to show people with sight how we see,” King said. “When you can see you can go see sea animals, however when you’re blind you have to see with your hands.”

King also wants people to know, “We want people to know that the blind are also working members of society to, we are employed, we can live on our own. That’s why we [NFB] are here, to educate the public.”

Rebecca Myers, an attendee, touched a horseshoe crab she said, “It really puts a different perspective on this crab. Seeing it is one thing, feeling it is another.”

Johnnie Slaton, President of the Tallahassee NFB, wants people to know anyone can get involved with the NFB.

“We welcome anyone to come join us in volunteering and helping the community. We meet at the Lighthouse of the Big Bend on the first Monday of each month from 6 p.m.- 8 p.m.,” Slaton said.