President Barack Obama celebrated the accomplishment of people who are blind and visually impaired in a presidential proclamation October 15, in commemoration of Blind Americans Equality Day.
“Generations of blind and visually impaired Americans have dedicated their passion and skills to enhancing our national life — leading as public servants, penning works of literature, lending their voice to music, and inspiring as champions of sport.,” Obama stated. “On Blind Americans Equality Day, we celebrate the achievements of blind and visually impaired Americans and reaffirm our commitment to advancing their complete social and economic integration.”
As part of his administration’s ongoing attempts to assist people with disabilities, he highlighted last year’s passage of the Twenty-First Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act, which created new technology accessibility regulations, as particularly beneficial to people who are blind or visually impaired.
He also highlighted the Pedestrian Safety Enhancement Act, signed into law January 1, which requires hybrid and electric cars manufacturers to add sounds to alert pedestrians whom are blind or visually impaired. In recent years, these vehicles have created new safety hazards for people who are deaf or visually impaired because they are particularly quiet, and therefore more likely to sneak up on individuals unable to see them approaching.
Congress created Blind Americans Equality Day, then known as White Cane Safety Day, through a joint resolution in 1964.