NACOGDOCHES, Texas - Stephen F. Austin State University's Braille and Cane Club will host a White Cane Day parade and activities from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 13, on the university campus in honor of National White Cane Safety Day.

The day celebrates the growing independence and self-sufficiency of people who are blind in America, and also works to recognize the white cane as the symbol of independence and self-reliance, according to the National Federation of the Blind's website.

Laura Kiefer, SFA Braille and Cane Club president, is coordinating the event.

"This day is very close to my heart because my mom is visually impaired and uses a cane. I know she often encounters people who believe in the many misconceptions associated with blindness," said Kiefer, a Fort Worth senior studying rehabilitation and orientation and mobility at SFA.

Open to the public, the festivities will include a parade through campus along Vista Drive, North Street and East College Street. Parade participants are encouraged to wear white and should meet at 9:30 a.m. in the first floor lobby of the Human Services Building on the SFA campus. The parade will end at the SFA fountain.

"This event is incredibly important in providing public awareness to the fact that people who are blind are happy, productive and independent members of the community," Kiefer said.

In addition to the parade, club members will host a public awareness event beginning at 11 a.m. in front of the Baker Pattillo Student Center and a bake sale near the SFA fountain. Funds raised from the bake sale will support the club's annual Christmas party for local children with visual impairments.