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Kota Wants ‘White Cane’ Act Printed Into Handbills
By Prince S. Nagbe
MONROVIA, April 18 (LINA) – The Executive Director of the Liberia Association of the Blind, Beyan Kota, is calling on Foreign Minister Marjon V. Kamara to speed up the publication of the “White Cane Law” into handbills.
“The White Cane bill was passed by the 53rd Legislature in June 2013 after spending three years there and was later signed into law by President (Ellen Johnson) Sirleaf. What we need now is for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to print the law into handbills to serve as our guarantee,” Kota emphasized.
Speaking at the Ministry of Information regular press conference in Monrovia recently, Kota noted that the Law reinforces the rights of the blind and visually impaired people to improve their economic, social and political statuses by ensuring that they share the same public space with people who are visually balanced.
According to him, blind people are rights holders and as such they should be given access to public and other facilities such as air carriers, trains, ships and other conveyors in order to improve their livelihood socially and economically, which is guaranteed in the White Cane law.
“Blind and visually impaired people being denied access to public facilities and equal participation in the social and economic transformation of the country leads to them being idle, unemployed and disempowered,” Kota noted.
He observed that the passage of White Cane Act by the government will serve as one of the many legacies of the Unity Party-led government and President Sirleaf when her tenure expires in January 2018.
The “White Cane Law”, among other things, gives blind and visually impaired people the right to access public facilities and services as well as traffic safety and to fully and actively participate in the political and social activities of the country.