SC State University Celebrates White Cane Day

Friday, October 15, 2010

Since 1964, citizens around the globe have recognized White Cane Day on October 15. This day emphasizes the significance of the use of the white cane as a tool and a visible symbol of independence for individuals who are blind and visually impaired. SC State University’s Department of Human Services Orientation and Mobility Program will host its seventh annual White Cane Day on Friday, October 15, 2010. This event will take place from 8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the K.W. Green Student Center’s Bulldog Lounge, located on the campus of SC State University. This year’s conference theme is “Establishing Partnerships and Affiliations: Key Ingredients to Meeting the Service Needs of the Blind and Visually Impaired.” Registration begins at 8:30 a.m. and the general session will begin promptly at 9 a.m.

“White Cane Day is an annual event used to heighten awareness about the lives of individuals who are blind and visually impaired in our communities, and the degree of independence they exhibit through rehabilitation and training,” said Shirley B. Madison, director of the Blind Rehabilitation Program.

The white cane is not just a tool that can be used to achieve independence. The white cane has given individuals the freedom to travel independently to school and work, and to participate in their communities.

Deborah K. Lovell, family outreach coordinator for the Charlie Norwood Veteran Affairs Medical Center in Augusta, Ga. will keynote the annual White Cane Day event. As family outreach coordinator, she serves as the primary case manager and interdisciplinary team leader for all inpatients admitted to the Augusta Blind Rehabilitation Center in Augusta, Ga. In 1983, Lovell received a Bachelor of Arts degree in psychology at Shorter College in Rome, Ga. In 2001, she received her Master of Education in rehabilitation counseling from Auburn University in Auburn, Ala. She recently received her Master of Arts in vision rehabilitation from Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo, Mich.

Prior to working for the Charlie Norwood Veteran Affairs Medical Center, she worked with the Georgia Department of Labor Division for Rehabilitation Services for 14 years where she served as the senior rehabilitation counselor for the blind.  She also managed and coordinated services for a case load of 100 consumers with a range of disabilities, to include blindness and visual impairments, psychiatric development disabilities and substance abuse.  During her tenure there, she also served in the administrative capacity managing a high cost caseload in a fiscally responsible manner. 

Lovell currently serves on the Veteran Affairs Disability Awareness Committee and she is an affiliate for the American Council of the Blind. Many of her hobbies include outdoor activities such as tandem biking, swimming and container gardening. She also loves to read.

To register for White Cane Day, complete the attached registration form. The registration fee for the SC State University faculty, staff and community is $20.  SC State University students pay $10. Lunch will be provided.

For additional information about White Cane Day, contact Shirley B. Madison at (803) 533-3956, or via email at

Please download registration form here