The Vice president of the Ghana Blind Union, Miss Janet Alamisi Dabire, has appealed to the public to provide white canes to support partially sighted and blind persons in the country.
White cane is a reliable guide which enhances independence of movement and gives the blind the ability to achieve a full and independent life.
According to her, although a large percentage of partially sighted and blind persons required white canes, many of them were unable to afford them due to weak financial situation.
Miss Dabire made the appeal at the commemoration of the International White Cane Safety Day on Saturday in Accra.
The event was under the theme, “The white cane, a tool for inclusion.”
She said, the provision of the white canes with the requisite training coupled with adequate resources would provide equal opportunity to enable the blind and partially sighted contribute to the development of the country.
Miss Dabire indicated that, society had not properly appreciated the need to ensure that blind persons were fully included in all aspects of social endeavour.
“This attitude has eroded the dignity of many of our blind and partially sighted brothers and sisters and made them dependant on others,” she added.
She stated that, blind and partially sighted persons had the potential to contribute to national development if given the necessary recognition and encouragement.
“It is important that the entire social collective works consenciously to remove all social, physical and economic barriers that may work against the total inclusion of blind and partially sighted persons,” she added.
Miss Dabire pledged to donate 50 white canes to visually impaired school children in the country.
Dr Peter Obeng-Asamoa, the Executive director of Ghana Blind Union (GBU) said, the white cane coupled with proper training would assist the blind and partially sighted anywhere they wanted to go.
According to him, the cane was used to navigate through obstacles and gave the blind independence saying, “independence is the first step to inclusion.”
Dr Obeng-Asamoa indicated that, the real barrier to the progress of the blind was negative attitudes from the society which was a challenge to their education and employment.
He noted that, the colour white was chosen for the cane because it could be seen from a long distance adding that “white cane is for identification and mobility.”
Dr Obeng-Asamoa appealed to the public to support the union to enable them assist blind children in education, training and counselling.
Mr John Majisi, Member of Parliament (MP) for Krachi Nchumuru said, issues of disability were not taken seriously in the country hence, called for continues advocacy to create more awareness.
He urged the union to empower its members to enable them fight for their rights in the society.
The Bible society of Ghana (BSG) and the Chief Director of the Ministry of Health, Nana K Adjei-Mensah presented twelve boxes of complete brail Bibles and two reflexology beds respectively.
BY ABEDUWAA LUCY APPIAH