CAB Joins Blind Colleagues In Observance Of “World White Cane Safety Day” Today

CAB Boss, Sir. Beyan G. Kota

The Christian Association of the Blind (CAB) joins blind people the world over in celebration of White Cane Safety Day on Thursday, October 15, 2020.

   White Cane Safety Day reminds every one of the importance of the White Cane as a tool for independent living for persons who are blind and partially sighted, stated a release signed by CAB National President/CEO, Sir. Beyan G. Kota.

    “As the world grapples with the impact of COVID-19, we in Liberia take this opportunity to remind the general public, politicians, policy makers and all stakeholders involved to ensure that architectural designs of public infrastructure are structured to adhere to COVID-19 protocols, and that universal design is considered as a reasonable accommodation to remove physical barriers for inclusion and that everyone is sensitized to the needs and aspirations of the blind and partially sighted. It is necessary for all of us to adjust to the ‘new normal’ and, in doing so, no one must be left behind,” the CAB underscored in a press release.

    The CAB said in its quest to manage COVID-19 and its impact, state parties must not forget their obligations, as enshrined in the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disability (UNCRPD), more specifically, Article 9 which requires countries to identify and eliminate obstacles and barriers and ensure that persons with disability can access their environment, transportation, and public facilities, as well as Article 19 which states that persons with disability must be able to live independently and be included in the community.

   In addition, the CAB release added, Goal 11 of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) stresses the importance of making cities and human settlements inclusive and safe for all. “It is necessary that Liberia strives to achieve this goal as universal access will eliminate some of the challenges currently experienced by blind and partially sighted users of white canes,” CAB said in the release.

   “As we commemorate the White Cane Day, it is our hope that policy makers recognize the importance of the right of blind and partially sighted persons to travel independently and safely in a universally accessible environment, the use of the white cane, and that persons who are blind and partially sighted understand the value of having and using the white cane and keeping it sanitized for the safety of all,” the CAB release continues.

   Accordingly, programs marking the observance of World White Cane Safety Day in Liberia are scheduled to be held in Monrovia, Thursday, October 15, 2020. The in-door program will be preceded by a grand march consisting of hundreds of blind and partially sighted persons, joined by well-wishers. The National Band of the Liberia National Police leads the march, which commences from Broad Street, at the front of the B. W. Harris Episcopal High School, and climaxing at the Monrovia City Hall, where the official ceremony in commemoration of World White Cane Safety Day will take place, the CAB noted in its release issued in Monrovia over the weekend.

   Gracing the White Cane’s Day program and serving as Keynote speaker is Dewitt Vonballmoos, Director General, National Social Security and Welfare Corporation, Republic of Liberia.

   This Year’s celebration is being held on the themem “Engaging Government’s Pro-Poor Agenda for Inclusive Social Development and Economic participation for the Prosperity of the Blind in Liberia”, according to the release.

   The Minister of Finance and Development Planning, Samuel D. Tweah, will be present to deliver a paper on the topic, “Ensuring the Social Inclusion of Government’s Pro-Poor Agenda for Strengthening the Participation of the Visually Impaired in the Economic Life of the State for their Empowerment and Prosperity in Liberia”.

   Also, expected to address the forum is the out-going Minister of Commerce and Industry, who will speak on the topic, “Making Government Small Business Enterprise Inclusive for Participation and Prosperity of the Blind in Liberia”.

   “Let’s rally together with persons who are blind and make ‘World White Cane Safety Day’ a
memorable one for all,” the release emphasized.

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