[United States Statutes at Large, Volume 124, 111th Congress, 2nd Session]
[From the U.S. Government Printing Office, www.gpo.gov]

 
PROCLAMATION 8588--OCT. 15, 2010

Proclamation 8588 of October 15, 2010
White Cane Safety Day, 2010
By the President of the United States of America
A Proclamation

The white cane, in addition to being a practical mobility tool, serves
as a symbol of dignity, freedom, and independence for individuals who
are blind or visually impaired. On White Cane Safety Day, our Nation
celebrates the immeasurable contributions the Americans who use canes
have made as valued members of our diverse country. We also examine our
progress and recommit to full integration, equality, education, and
opportunity for Americans with visual impairments.
Today, students with disabilities are reaching achievements considered
unattainable just a few decades ago. Many gains have been realized
throughout our educational system, but we must accomplish more so that
America's technological advances and assistive tools are available for
the benefit of all students. My Administration is committed to ensuring
that electronic readers and other electronic equipment used by schools,
including postsecondary institutions, are accessible to individuals who
are blind or visually impaired. We are also providing guidance and
technical assistance to help colleges and universities fully comply with
the legal requirements to use emerging technology that is accessible to
all students in the classroom. Blindness and visual impairments are not
impediments to obtaining knowledge, and we must highlight the
availability of existing tools to facilitate communication and work to
improve access to them. Additionally, the Braille code opens doors of
literacy and learning to countless individuals with visual impairments
across our country and around the world, and we must work with advocates
and leaders throughout our society to promote and improve Braille
literacy among our students.
Americans with disabilities are Americans first and foremost, entitled
to both full participation in our society and full opportunity in our

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economy. My Administration is working to increase information access so
Americans who are blind or visually impaired can fully participate in
our increasingly interconnected world. To expand career options for
people with disabilities in the Federal Government, I signed an
Executive Order directing executive departments and agencies to design
strategies to increase recruitment and hiring of these valued public
servants. I was also pleased to sign the Twenty-First Century
Communications and Video Accessibility Act into law earlier this month
to ensure that the jobs of the future are accessible to all. This
legislation will make it easier for people who are deaf, blind, or live
with a visual impairment to use the technology our 21st-century economy
depends on, from navigating digital menus on a television to sending
emails on a smart phone.
As we observe the 20th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities
Act this year, my Administration reaffirms our national commitment to
creating access to employment, education, and social, political, and
economic opportunities for Americans with disabilities. Together with
individuals who are blind or visually impaired, service providers,
educators, and employers, we will uphold our country as an inclusive,
welcoming place for blind or visually impaired people to work, learn,
play, and live.
By joint resolution approved on October 6, 1964 (Public Law 88-628, as
amended), the Congress designated October 15 of each year as White Cane
Safety Day to recognize the contributions of Americans who are blind or
have low vision.
NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of
America, do hereby proclaim October 15, 2010, as White Cane Safety Day.
I call upon all public officials, business and community leaders,
educators, librarians, and Americans to observe this day with
appropriate ceremonies, activities, and programs.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this fifteenth day of
October, in the year of our Lord two thousand ten, and of the
Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and thirty-
fifth.
BARACK OBAMA