Some visually impaired persons (VIPs) are appealing to the government and other relevant stakeholders to enforce strict rules and sanctions on individuals who place some form of blockages on pavements.
Their appeal was made during the celebration of the International White Cane Safety Day in Accra last Wednesday, on the theme “White cane a tool for Social Inclusion.”
As an important mobility tool, the white cane helps visually impaired persons navigate, control and avoid all physical gadget and barriers in their way, he explained.
During the celebration it was highlighted that, most traders and some promotion brand ambassadors hijack the pavements with their wares, feather flag banners among others, making movement very difficult for VIPs.
It was explained that, walking alone with the white canes, no assistance from people and blockages off the pavements helped them navigate freely on the road.
“More awareness on critical issues surrounding VIPs should be created for the general public to know the need for free movements on pavements for such persons as they also use the same roads,” he said.
Again, he urged drivers to also give VIPs the needed respect whenever they see them with their white canes crossing the roads.
“Stigma, discrimination, stereotyping as well as these blockages all forms part of the obstacles that creates barriers to our social lives,” he stated.
Aside, Dr Obeng-Asamoah advised VIPsto use their white canes or any walking stick with dignity and not be shy of themselves because that was a symbol for their unique situation as citizens of the country.
“Sometimes, due to my unique situation I get the advantage not to stay in long queues when I visit some places in town, people notice me and give me the opportunity to do whatever I want to do,” he cited.
He further encouraged all VIPs to believe in themselves and their white canes since there was nothing to be ashamed of if one was unable to see and needed to use acane.
BY ANITA ANKRAH