International White Cane Safety Day (October 15th)
The Council and KSB in collaboration with other partners are celebrated the abilities and successes achieved by visually impaired people and honoring the many contributions being made by the blind and visually impaired, in the Country and beyond.
In the last five years the Council provided over 1,000 white canes to persons with vision impairment. The Council has always been working with Kenya Society for the Blind to improve the living standards of the visually impaired persons.
In the last year celebrations, the Council in partnership with Kenya society for the blind marked this day in Kisumu in collaboration with Kenya Society for the Blind, Kisumu County and other partners. The council supported the event through providing meals to participants and also facilitating the visually impaired with transport. The Council also presented white canes to the visually impaired.
According to Wold Health Organisation’s, World Report on Vision, about 2.2 billion people have vision impairment or blindness, of whom at least 1 billion have a vision impairment that could have been prevented or has yet to be addressed. In Kenya, according to the population census statistics of 2019, it is estimated that slightly above 300, 000 people are visually impaired.This is clearly a significance segment of the Kenya Population.
It is a general appeal to all stakeholders to increase their support for inclusion of persons with vision impairment in all sectors and also the stakeholders in the transport sector, built environment and Technology to work with the Council to review their various policies to enhance inclusion of persons with vision impairment in this sector because of the upcoming trends.
We must also take cognizant of the many challenges that persons with vision impairment face when accessing services. The challenges range from lack of the right Software’s, audio traffic signal for the blind, low level of awareness by motorists on the significance of using the white cane by the visually impaired when crossing the roads, disregard of traffic rules by many service providers.
Observance of this Day marks the beginning of many engagements that the Council has lined up for this year to ensure that persons with disabilities live a dignified livehoods.