Aids and appliances for blind and visually impaired people soon will be available in the District through the Columbia Lighthouse for the Blind and Volunteers for the Visually Handicapped.
A White Cane Store, operated by Volunteers for the Visually Handicapped, is scheduled to open Jan. 29 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the lobby of the Columbia Lighthouse for the Blind, 1421 P St. NW.
The store will offer items ranging from Monopoly and Scrabble boards adapted for use by the blind, talking clocks, watches and calculators and a talking scale that lets the user hear his or her weight within seconds of stepping on the scale. Aids such as canes, magnifiers, reflective bus and taxi badges, self-threading needles and phone attachments also will be available.
The items offered for sale normally are available only at the White Cane Center in Bethesda. Volunteers for the Visually Handicapped, a nonprofit service agency that owns and operates the center, has agreed to bring some of its inventory to the Lighthouse for inspection and purchase by blind and visually impaired consumers.
"This is the first time these items will be easily available to residents of the District of Columbia," said Lighthouse Executive Director Charles Fegan. In the past, he said, some blind D.C. residents have paid $14 or more for transportation to the White Cane Center in Bethesda.
Regular operating hours have not yet been set for the store. For information, call the Lighthouse at 462-2900.