THEIR walk along Olive Street to Dean Street in Albury was met with peril at every step.
There’s cars and people rushing by, chairs and tables to dodge, and shop signs that weren’t there yesterday.
It’s a walk of a few hundred metres most folk would barely have to think about but when you’re blind, it’s exhausting.
Several Albury Vision Australia clients walked it yesterday to meet for morning tea to celebrate White Cane Day.
The day is recognised around the world and celebrates the importance of a single stick that has changed the lives of the blind.
The white cane was introduced in 1921 when a photographer from Bristol, England, painted his walking stick white to be more visible to traffic after he lost his sight in an accident.
Adam Smith was 21 when he lost all of his sight in an accident about 10 years ago.
“You lose a lot of things — I lost the house, my job, my car,” Mr Smith, of Albury, said.
“But it’s more the freedom you lose — freedom and independence.”
Mr Smith admitted he took some time to start going out with a white cane.
“I don’t know if it was the stigma, or not accepting that I was blind,” Mr Smith said.
He said the cane changed everything.
“I can go out. I can walk to the shop by myself... I’m enjoying life.”
Jeanette Newman, 69, lost much of her sight through glaucoma at 24.
Mrs Newman, of Albury, said using a cane made sighted people aware of her condition.
“When you’ve got the cane they’re so forgiving — I can’t go anywhere without it,” she said.