CAB Celebrates World White Cane Safety Day

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CAB STATEMENT ON THE OCCASION MARKING THE OBSERVANCE OF ‘WORLD WHITE CANE SAFETY DAY’

 

October 7, 2020.

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

 

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.

 

 

In our quest to manage COVID-19 and its impact, states parties must not forget their obligations enshrined in the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD), more specifically, Article 9 which requires countries to identify and eliminate obstacles and barriers and ensure that persons with disabilities can access their environment, transportation, and public facilities and Article 19 which states that persons with disabilities must be able to live independently, to be included in the community. In addition, Goal 11 of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) which stresses the importance of making cities and human settlements inclusive and safe for all. It is necessary that Liberia strive to achieve this goal as universal access will eliminate some of the challenges currently experienced by blind and partially sighted users of white canes.

 

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, and 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.

 

As the world grapples with the impact of COVID-19, we take this opportunity to remind law and policy makers and all stakeholders involved to ensure that designing or redesigning proper infrastructure adheres to COVID-19 protocols, that universal design is considered and everyone is sensitized. It is necessary for all of us to adjust to the "new normal" and in doing so, no one must be left behind.

 

 

In our quest to manage COVID-19 and its impact, states parties must not forget their obligations enshrined in the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD), more specifically, Article 9 which requires countries to identify and eliminate obstacles and barriers and ensure that persons with disabilities can access their environment, transportation, and public facilities and Article 19 which states that persons with disabilities must be able to live independently, to be included in the community. In addition, Goal 11 of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) which stresses the importance of making cities and human settlements inclusive and safe for all. It is necessary that countries strive to achieve this goal as universal access will eliminate some of the challenges currently experienced by blind and partially sighted users of white canes.

 

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, and 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.

 

Accordingly, programs marking the observance of World White Cane Safety Day in Liberia, is scheduled to be held in Monrovia, the Political Capitol City of Liberia, slated for Thursday, October 15, 2020. THE indoor Program will be preceded by a Grand march consisting of hundreds of blind and partially sighted persons and joined by other well wishers, being led by the National Band of the Liberia National Police, commencing from Broad Street, at the front of the B. W. Harris Episopal High School and clamixing at the Monrovia City Hall where official ceremony in commemoration of World White Cane Safety Day will take place.

 

Gracing the Cane's Day Program and serving as Keynote speaker is Honourable Dewitt Vonballmoos, Director General, National Social Security and Welfare Corporation, republic of Liberia. This Year's celebration is being held on the theme:

“Engaging Government's Pro-Poor Agenda for Inclusive Social Development and Economic participation for the Prosperity of the Blind in Liberia."

The Honourable Minister of Finance and Development Planning Honourable 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 outgoing 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.

 

Signed:

Sir Beyan G. Kota,

National President/CEO, CAB

Lion's Club Marches With CAB 

 

Pictures from 2018 parade (National Police Band Leads the Parade)