The President of the Republic of Liberia, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, has by Proclamation declared Thursday, October 15, 2014 as World Sight and White Cane Safely Day and is to be observed throughout the Republic as a Working Holiday.
According to the Proclamation, the National Union Organization of the Disabled (NUOD), in collaboration with the blind community as a whole, joined their counterparts worldwide in celebrating World Sight and World White Cane Safety Days from Thursday, October 8, to Thursday, October 15, 2015, under the Theme: “Universal Eye Health Call For Action” with the Slogan “Eye Care For All”
“It is the sole responsibility of the Government of the Republic of Liberia to recognize and protect the fundamental human rights of its citizens, including the blind”, states the Proclamation.
The Proclamation further discloses that since the invention of the White Cane, it has become a significant symbol of courage in blindness, which serves as a traffic sign and a courtesy request from police, motorists and pedestrians to give the right of way to the blind, including, access to all public transports.
The Proclamation indicates that October 15 of each year has been set aside by the World Blind Union (WBU) and the African Union of Blind (AFUB), through United Nations Convention held in the United States of America in 1975.
The White Cane was invented in 1930 by Lion George Bonham of the Illinois Lion Club as a walking device for the blind to detect obstacles in their path and enable them move freely and independently, the Proclamation adds.