The white cane is a symbolic instrument for persons with visual impairment to aid their mobility and independence. It also serves as means of identification for these special persons.
James Biggs of Bristol history claimed to have invented the instrument after he got blind as a result of an accident in 1921. Biggs felt threatened by the ever busy road and motorists, therefore he got a long stick and painted it with the white color so he is visible to all road users even at night.
Since 1964, the united states of America has always regarded the 15th of October as a day to celebrate the white cane as a means of independence and symbol of persons with visual impairment. Other countries of the world gradually joined in the celebration with no exception to Nigeria.
The white cane is a rod like instrument coated in white paint generally with red or black stripes. It helps the user get familiar with his envioronment, helping him walk freely without colliding with obstacles while also serving as a means of identifying the user as one with visual impairment.
Sadly, in Nigeria today, the white cane isn’t readily available and affordable for its users. The selling of this instrument is restricted to individuals and organizations who can afford the heavy import duties imposed by the government on the commodity.
In turn, the sellers have to get back their money on the user thereby making the cane quite expensive. However, many thanks to individuals and organizations who provide these canes for visually impaired persons especially during the white cane and safety day celebration.
In the light of the celebration, we employ the general public to pay attention to the white cane users. Let’s be mindful of their rights as well as other road users access to the road.
In addition, it is important to note that the sidewalks on our road is not meant for buying and selling. Doing this makes it difficult for passersby which includes persons with disabilities to walk freely without interrupting traffic and at the same time endangering their lives.
Overall, we can all make the society an all-inclusive one where peace and progress thrives by just doing that which is right.
Happy white cane and safety day celebration Nigeria. Cheers!.