todayOctober 24, 2023

By Anselm Ojaru


In the events leading to the celebration of the belated world white canes day, persons   with visual impairments in Arua district are asking for freedom, inclusivity and independence based on the theme of this year’s white canes day a belated celebration set to be held in the district on Wednesday 25th October 2023.

The celebrations will be held under the theme “Freedom, Inclusivity and Independence” is an annual event held on the 15th of October
While the white cane does keep blind people safe (because drivers and other pedestrians can easily see it), it is also a tool that blind people use to explore and navigate our environment. For this reason, the emphasis of White Cane Safety Day has shifted over time away from safety, and toward independence and equality.

Moses Amayo the general secretary of persons with visual impairment in Arua district says due to the annual celebrations a lot has changed for him,
“At least I have seen some changes now because according to the disability act 2006 that we are supposed to be called persons with visual impairment, persons with disability even we are not disabled persons, like me when moving on the road, when I raise up my white cane when crossing the road atleast people give me respect and in zebra crossing there is a lot of respect given to me though few of them still need a lot of mobilization,” Amayo said.

However Alice Amaderu secretary of women with disabilities in Arua district says persons with visual impairment still face challenges in life which the community needs to be made to understand. “Along the side of what is missing there is still lack of ramps on the road especially in Arua district, there are no ramps where persons with disability suffer a lot so we are expecting more ramps to be constructed along the side of Arua district to cater for disabilities,” Amaderu narrated.

Ayikoru Jean Longo, the CDO in charge of PWDs and elderly in Arua district

According to Jean Ayikoru Longo the community development officer in charge of Persons with disability and elderly in Arua district, the celebration will be used to create awareness and ask for inclusivity in government programs.

She calls upon the public to pay keen attention to their eyes by ensuring they do regular checkups. “This day is not only for the visually impaired, eye health issues are for everybody, it’s everybody’s concern take care of the eye sight and then it’s anyone’s responsibility so then we are using this day to preach the gospel according to road safety and then also we are telling the others that you look the world is beautiful so take care of your eye sight keep going for medical checkup, and then also once the eyes have failed then you give this person assistive device of a white cane,” she said.

The United States Congress adopted a joint resolution in 1964 designating October 15 of each year as White Cane Safety Day and recognizing that white canes enable blind people to travel safely and independently. 

COVER PHOTO: Persons with visual impairment during a preparatory meeting By Anselm Ojaru

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