On Monday, Lighthouse of SWFL held its annual “White Cane Walk” North Fort Myers. Lighthouse paired the event with National White Cane Safety Day, which serves as a reminder that people should be aware of others with a visual impairment.
The non-profit organization acts as a support system to families and individuals who needs guidance dealing with vision loss.
To get a sense of what it’s like to not have sight, some people who participated in the walk were blindfolded and were led across U.S. 41. “It was very terrifying but an exciting experience,” said Alicia Miller. “It’s crazy to think that people have to do this without any help or guidance.”
In 2015, the National Federation of the Blind reported that Florida has 486,400 people with some form of visual impairment.
A total of 8.5 percent of Lee County adults are blind or have trouble seeing even when wearing corrective lenses, according to a 2017 Community Health Needs Assessment report.
In addition to Lighthouse of SWFL, there are several organizations for people with a visual impairment.
Florida Division of Blind Services in Fort Myers helps with job placements and business opportunities.
Council for the Blind Support Group holds meetings twice a month to help people who recently lost their sight.