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Belinda’s ready for blindfolded challenge to help celebrate International White Cane Day

Helena Valley resident, Belinda Allen, will help Senses Australia celebrate International White Cane Day on Thursday, 15 October 2015, by travelling from home to work blindfolded and will use a white cane to help find her way.

“I hope this activity will further raise the awareness of blindness in our community and how the challenges of getting out and about can be reduced through Orientation and Mobility services like the one we provide at Senses Australia,” says Belinda, a Senses Australia Speech Pathologist.

“I will be travelling by bus and train from home to Senses Australia’s head office in Burswood, all while wearing a blind fold.  I am feeling quite nervous about doing this, but with the support from one of Senses Australia’s orientation and mobility instructors, Paul Garwood, I am confident I will get there,” says Belinda.

Matthew Wittorff, Senses Australia’s Manager Deafblind Services says throughout the 60 minute journey, Belinda will use a white cane – a tool that can be used to achieve independence and which has also become a symbol of the blind citizens in our society.

“Orientation and Mobility is about knowing where you are so that you can get to where you would like to go and travel there safely.  Blindness and low vision can often cause people to lose confidence which can impact on their ability to get around,” says Matthew.

“Our orientation and mobility instructors teach people of all ages who are blind or have low vision safe, efficient and effective travel skills.  A long white cane is the mobility tool that most people who are blind choose to use.

“With experience in teaching people who are blind to confidently use a cane, our orientation and mobility instructors also support people in finding destinations with strategies that include following directions and using landmarks and compass directions.  Techniques for crossing streets, such as analysing and identifying intersections and traffic patterns, while enabling you to develop problem solving skills to determine what to do if you are disoriented or lost or need to change your route as well as using public transport,” says Matthew.

Follow Belinda’s journey on Senses Australia’s Deafblind Information Facebook page

To find out more about Senses Australia’s Orientation and Mobility services visit