In commemoration of the International White Cane Day which is slated for 15th October every year world over, the National Commission for Persons With Disabilities has raised the awareness level of Nigerians on the importance of the occasion, as well as other activities around Blind Persons.
This was made known during the Commission’s advocacy visit to the Human Rights Radio 101.1fm Abuja, today 19th October , 2023 where the Executive Secretary, National Commission for Persons With Disabilities, Mr James David Lalu was represented by Comrade Stanley Onyebuchi who is also the National President, National Association of the Blind.
Speaking on the platform of the Brekete family program, Stanley Onyebuchu gave some technical tips on the use and the essentials of the Guard cane for the Blind.
“May I inform you that when a blind person raises his cane while on the road, it means that he is willing to cross the road and every on coming vehicle is expected to stop and make the path accessible for him” he said.
He further explained that once escorting a blind person, one’s arm must be closely entangled with the escorted in order to maintain a similar pace of movements.
Also, the NAB president advised Nigerians to constantly go for Eye checkups to prevent losing their visions to eye defects such as glycoma which is a common cause of blindness.
He, therefore, appealed for more funding from donor Agencies as well as an increase in budgetary allocations for the Commission in order to carry out its mandate efficiently.
In the same vein, the Director, legal Services, NCPWD, Barrister Joseph Okon underpinned the position of the Commission on those who ran foul of the 2018 Disability Law.
“I am here to remind the Public that ignorance of the law is not an excuse; Part 2, Section 5 of the Discrimination against Persons With Disabilities (Prohibition) law 2018, is explicit about accessibility and right of way to blind Persons; so whoever disobeys these provisions, shall face the full weight of the law” he asserted.
However, it has been established that the white cane Day is recognized around the world as a means for identifying and empowering people who are blind and visually impaired.
“On this day, members of the National Federation of the Blind come together with the local communities to organise white cane walks, film screenings, and social events. Also, visually impaired people from all walks of life come together to take part in such events”