Deaf Symbol, Blind Symbol

Deaf-Blind Awareness Day

Sugar House Steps, Liverpool ONE, Liverpool, L1 8BJ
29th June 2019 10:00 - 17:00

Deaf-Blind people take to the streets of Liverpool ONE on Saturday 29th June, with mobility aids and supporters to show “We will not be silent!”

The UK Deaf-Blind community has approximately 390,000 people, with this figure set to increase to over 600,000 by 2035. Seen as a silent community we want to break down those isolating barriers and spread awareness to the public.

“I have found Bradbury Fields an organisation who will go out of their way to help you. If they can’t help they would certainly find someone who could. I have to, in particular, praise my Rehab Officer CB, her expertise, experience, knowledge, understanding and friendly nature, makes my life as a Deaf-Blind person that little bit easier. I have known CB for many years and if it wasn’t for her, I think I would feel alone with my disabilities, as there appears to be no one around that understood dual sensory impairment of any kind. Thank you and I hope to benefit from your wealth of experience and knowledge for many years to come.” - Deaf-Blind Service User

A white cane is an important mobility tool for visually impaired people, as well as a symbol of their independence. But if that white cane has red stripes, do the public know what that means? Would they know how to approach a deafblind person? Engage, communicate or support them? At this event we will show how!

Philip Longworth, Bradbury Fields Chief Executive, says “Whilst blindness on its own presents many challenges for blind people, it can be almost impossible for us to imagine the additional obstacles that people who are deaf–blind are having to overcome and live with on a daily basis. This often means that their world is only as far as you can reach and simply having a conversation is dependent upon people being able to communicate with you. Through this event we are hoping that the community of Liverpool have a better understanding and help us support such an important group of people living in the City”.

We will march through Liverpool ONE visible and proud! We want to show that people who maybe DeafBlind, Blind, Partially Sighted, Deaf or Hard of Hearing are present in this community and have something to offer. With guest appearances from Liverpool Inspirational Voices and The Liverpool Signing Choir.

White cane history
Canes have been used by visually impaired people for centuries, but the white cane was introduced in the early 20th century. Canes were painted white to be more easily visible. In 1931, Guilly d’Herbemont, who is considered to have invented the white cane, gave the first two canes to blind people. There are different types of the white cane such as long cane, guide cane, symbol cane and support cane. Not all of them are used as a mobility device. For instance, the Symbol Cane alerts others as to its bearer’s visual impairment but is of no help as a mobility aid.

Let's stand together and raise awareness of this sometimes forgotten community.