Last week, unexpected sad news came to the Louisiana Center for the Blind (LCB) extended family. Darick Williamson, cane travel instructor and a teacher of future cane travel instructors, died suddenly from a heart attack on March 22, 2018. Darick was my cane travel instructor when I was an LCB student ten years ago. He also taught and mentored several of my blind friends who are now teaching cane travel in schools and adult training centers across the country.
Like many LCB alumni, I have struggled to find words that can give adequate voice to Darick’s legacy. I could share stories of the adventures I experienced under his instruction, the lessons I learned about orienting myself and moving about in unfamiliar environments, and the confidence I gained through even (and especially) the scariest of those adventures. I could share how, as a man who happened not to be blind himself, Darick truly understood and conveyed his belief in blind people’s ability to travel safely and efficiently. But I cannot find the words to fully capture the impact he made, directly and indirectly, on hundreds of blind people through his students who became cane travel instructors themselves and passed his philosophy on to their own students. Instead, I will simply share his obituary, and a link to his writings for the Professional Development and Research Institute on Blindness (PDRIB), in the hope that his words will continue to educate and inspire.