Governor Malloy has proclaimed Tuesday, October 15th, 2013, to be Blind Americans Equality Day, a day on which we “celebrate and honor the past achievements and future potential of all of Connecticut’s citizens with blindness.” A national day of independence for blind people has been celebrated since 1964 when Lyndon Johnson signed legislation authorizing the President of the United States to proclaim October 15th to be White Cane Awareness Day.
“Connecticut’s citizens who are blind or visually impaired contribute much to our state,” the Proclamation states. “I, Dannel P. Malloy, Governor of the state of Connecticut, do hereby proclaim October 15, 2013 as Blind Americans Equality Day in the state of Connecticut,” the Governor announced.
In addition, people are invited to observe the day by attending a special White Cane Awareness Day celebration at the Old Navy store in West Hartford (Corbin’s Corner Shops - 1459 New Britain Ave) on Tuesday, October 15th , 4:30 pm - 7:00 pm. Connecticut youth with blindness and visual impairments are spearheading the event with an afternoon of food, fun and community awareness. This free event, sponsored by the Bureau of Education and Services for the Blind (BESB), a division of the Connecticut Department of Rehabilitation Services (DORS), will focus on the achievements and independence of people who are blind and visually impaired.
Members of the public – young and old - are invited to stop by this family-friendly event. There will be white cane activities, vision impairment simulators, lessons in Braille and other demonstrations of the tools people with blindness use to adapt to a sighted world. Everyone can enjoy a hands-on experience with the visible symbols of the independence and freedom that are possible for blind people.
The White Cane event in West Hartford is an opportunity to learn more about the daily lives of people with blindness and show support for the ongoing mission of total independence for everyone in Connecticut.
By His Excellency Dannel P. Malloy, Governor;
WHEREAS, Connecticut’s citizens who are blind or visually impaired contribute much to our state; and
WHEREAS, white canes and guide dogs have come to symbolize equal rights and equal access for persons with blindness; and
WHEREAS, they are also reminders of the many achievements and tremendous potential of persons who are blind and of their willingness to live independently and compete in the marketplace; and
WHEREAS, Connecticut state law secures the right of persons with blindness to carry and use a white cane or be accompanied by a guide dog along our streets and thoroughfares, in residential settings, on public transportation, in public accommodations and in the workplace; and
WHEREAS, our law also requires that motorists exercise appropriate caution when approaching someone using a white cane or guide dog; and
WHEREAS, October 15th has been known as White Cane Safety Day across the United States since it was declared by Congress and the President in 1964; and
WHEREAS, Connecticut law further encourages employers, in both the public and private sector, to explore and utilize the skills and potential of Connecticut’s citizens who are blind, to recognize their capabilities and to respect their worth as individuals; now
THEREFORE, to celebrate and honor the past achievements and future potential of all of Connecticut’s citizens with blindness, I, Dannel P. Malloy, Governor of the state of Connecticut, do hereby proclaim October 15, 2013 as
Blind americans Equality day
in the State of Connecticut.