Persons with visual impairment in Kericho County today received white canes from Kenya Union of the Blind (KUB) to assist them while navigating from one point to another.
While celebrating achievements of visually impaired people, Kenya Union of the Blind Chief Executive Jackson Agufana Hassan lauded the visually impaired people who have overcome their disability and ventured into various activities.
Mr. Agufana further called on both the National and County governments to put more emphasis on the visually impaired persons when it comes to job opportunities and funds.
Persons with visual impairment have been hugely side-lined in Kenya if you see the public facilities and public schools most of them do not favour visually impaired person, we call on the respective institutions to consider this and provide an environment where we can feel included,” said Mr. Agufana.
He further called on National counsel for persons with disabilities to work on a policy to reduce the cost of the white cane which currently retails at Sh. 2000 which is a bit expensive to a visually impaired person given the financial constraints brought about by the covid-19 pandemic.
“We call upon the National Council for persons with disabilities to strengthen their mechanism and ensure that persons with disability are registered, we also need to create awareness at the community level to ensure that people out there register so that with the card they can access government services easily,” Mr. Hassan said.
White Cane Safety Day is marked on October 15th annually and celebrates the achievements of people who are blind or visually impaired. The white cane is not only a tool. It also represents the independence of those who are blind worldwide it shows how they can be independent.
Kipchebor Ward Member of County Assembly Eric Bett who graced the occasion promised to table bills and policies which will guide the county government when constructing ECDEs so that it can favour teachers living with disabilities to deliver their duties without any hitches.
“We need to customize bills which have been passed by other counties to also help our PWDs in Kericho, the county also needs to establish a disability board which will oversee the employment and equitable distribution of resources among the members of the PWDs,” added Mr. Bett.
The white cane extends a person’s senses allowing them to determine steps, uneven pavements, and obstacles. But it also provides a level of safety as a signal to the seeing public. It’s important not to disrupt the path of someone with a white cane or to steer them in another direction. A skilled user allows the cane to find the clearest way.
By Dominic Cheres and Byegon Alfric