International Day of the White Cane - the Way to Tolerance
Even in spite of the vanity and swift pace of today's life, we unerringly recognize on the streets people whose opportunities are limited. They are difficult to miss for one simple reason: it is much more difficult for them to live in this world, adapted for a healthy person. On October 15, the International Day of the White Cane is held to draw attention to people with poor eyesight.
Mankind, unfortunately, is not always aware of the importance and severity of restrictions for a person who has lost his health. He must first independently, sometimes alone, overcome the difficulties of life. It is now created by various societies, helping to solve the issues of vital activity of such people. But more recently it was completely different.
The idea of using a warning sign for the blind
The history of the appearance of this attribute in the life of visually impaired people appeared much earlier than the International Day of the White Cane. She is almost 100 years old. The idea belongs to the English photographer James Biggs, who lost sight in his youth due to an accident. This happened in 1921, when for every gentleman the cane was still an indispensable attribute. The only way to adapt to the movement along the street for him was to "feel" the road. This could only be done with a cane. But neither pedestrians nor drivers understood these movements, and therefore they did not give way to the blind Biggs. The solution was found when he realized that it was the cane that should be visible before it was knocked down. Friends helped turn an ordinary cane into an attribute of a blind person, painting it in white. Since that moment much has changed in Biggs's life.
Initially, the spread of the idea of a white cane for the blind only occurred with the words of the most resourceful Englishman and his friends. They advised all acquaintances who have serious vision problems to use this attribute for the convenience of traveling through the streets. The English blind needed another 10 years of expectations, while one of the most famous charitable organizations turned to this issue. Thanks to the coverage of this topic in the press, the blind English received white canes for the first time through the Red Cross.
Spreading the white cane around the world
By 1930, the idea of a walking stick for the blind had crossed the English Channel. France already had schools for the teaching of visually impaired children, the first of which was founded by Valentin Gayuy. Louis Braille, also used today for reading by all people with visual problems, has already been used.
The active dissemination of the warning attribute of a blind person in France was occupied by Gwilly D'Arbemon, an aristocrat known in her own country as a defender and patron of blind people. It was she who invited the Paris authorities to support the initiative to provide blind people with special canes.
Developed in the US in the 60 years of the XX century, a broad campaign explained the problems of disabled people for American society. On October 15, the initiative of the Federation of the Blind and with the support of the President of America L. Johnson was called the Day of the Safe White Cane. After 1964, this day was given the status of a special annual date.
In 1992, the World Blind Union attempted to unite the International Day of the White Cane under the patronage of the United Nations, which would solve the vital problems of the blind all nations. But so far this appeal has not been heard, and each organization seeks support from the government of its country on its own.
Day of the Blind in Russia
Initiatives of the Russian society of the blind were first supported only in 1987. Today in our country issues of equal rights for the blind and tolerance to them are covered regularly, but especially widely - on the International Day of the White Cane. Activities dedicated to the main task - the integration of visually impaired and blind people in public life, are held regularly. This is not only the holding of seminars, lectures and meetings, but also the provision of practical assistance to those in need.
Sunglasses covering the eyes regardless of the season, a barely noticeable sound of the cane tapping on the asphalt are permanent companions of blind or visually impaired people. As a rule, they are also accompanied by a faithful guide - a dog, equipped in a special harness with the already known sign of the red cross.
The main issue is tolerance
The International Day of the White Cane 2014 was entirely devoted to the issue of tolerance. Each of us must learn to understand that for a blind person, deprived of happiness to see the colorful world, a cane is not only a tool for movement, it is his "eyes". Understanding of such complexity of perception comes only on "practice". On this day a lot of sighted competitions were held, where situations of loss of vision were modeled. The most simple way was a blindfold in which you had to try to perform tasks, to cope with the situations surrounding blind people in everyday life.
The next occasion to try to equalize the rights of the blind and "try on yourself" the lives of these people is the International Day of the White Cane.
The desire to understand and accept
Almost all categories of disabled people have their own system of warning signs, according to which any passer-by can easily determine that in front of him is a person who probably needs help. For people who are unable to see, such a distinctive sign is a white cane. Seeing a man with a white cane, we unmistakably know that this person either sees poorly, or does not see at all.
The International Day of the White Cane, the Day of the Blind, as it is otherwise called, is not only a word about the difficulties of the disabled. This is the desire to understand people who live next to us, and accept them as such.