White Cane Safety Day is a national observance in the United States celebrated on October 15th of each year since 1964. The date is set aside to celebrate the achievements of people who are blind or visually impaired and the important symbol of blindness and tool of independence, the white cane.
Here are some tips as published by the BVA:
What to do When You See a Blind Person
When you address a blind person, identify yourself immediately so there is no mystery as to who you are.
Speak directly to a blind person so the individual can follow your voice.
Don’t assume that a blind person is unable to participate in certain activities. Let that person make the decision.
When guiding a blind person, offer your arm for assistance. A blind person can anticipate your movements by walking slightly behind you.
When you’re leaving … say so.
It’s okay to use words like “look,” “see,” and “blind.” Avoiding them may make a blind person self-conscious.
Offer understanding, consideration, and friendship to a blind person – not pity!
Caution a blind person about ascending or descending stairs, curbs, or obstacles.
Offer assistance when you see a blind person trying to cross a busy intersection, but don’t be discouraged by a “No, thank you.”
Offer to read newspapers, magazines, and other printed material for a blind person.
Let blind people speak for themselves – they don’t need interpreters.
When speaking to a blind person, don’t raise your voice. Remember, that person is blind, not deaf.
Don’t distract a guide dog from his main purpose of safely leading his master. Ask for permission before petting.
Guide Dog Etiquette from Guide Dogs for the Blind