The World Blind Union (WBU) joins the rest of the world in observing White Cane Safety Day on Tuesday 15th October 2019.
White Cane Safety Day reminds the world of the importance of the White Cane as a tool for independent living for blind and partially sighted persons.
The World Blind Union takes this opportunity to advocate for policies, laws and proper infrastructure in all countries to allow independent and safe travel of blind and partially sighted persons in their homes, educational institutions, work environment, and their community.
This is in keeping with Article 9 of the UN Convention on the Rights of persons with disabilities (UNCRPD) which requires countries to identify and eliminate obstacles and barriers and ensure that persons with disabilities can access their environment, transportation, and public facilities. It is also in line with Article 19 which states that persons with disabilities must be able to live independently, to be included in the community and to choose where they want to live: and Article 20 which states that personal mobility and independence are to be fostered by facilitating affordable personal mobility training in mobility skills and access to mobility aids.
In addition, Goal 11 of the Sustainable Development Goals stresses the importance of making cities and human settlements inclusive and safe for all. It is necessary that countries work towards achieving this Goal as universal access will eliminate some the challenges currently experienced by blind and partially sighted White Cane users in our member countries.
As we commemorate this important 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.
We believe that a more inclusive, accessible and equal society will lead to better living conditions for our community.