[Federal Register Volume 74, Number 201 (Tuesday, October 20, 2009)]
[Presidential Documents]
[Pages 53875-53878]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: E9-25409]

[[Page 53875]]


Part III

The President


Proclamation 8439--White Cane Safety Day, 2009

Notice of October 16, 2009--Continuation of the National Emergency With 
Respect to Significant Narcotics Traffickers Centered in Colombia

                        Presidential Documents 

Federal Register / Vol. 74, No. 201 / Tuesday, October 20, 2009 / 
Presidential Documents


Title 3--
The President

[[Page 53877]]

                Proclamation 8439 of October 15, 2009

White Cane Safety Day, 2009

                By the President of the United States of America

                A Proclamation

                All Americans deserve the freedom to participate in 
                every aspect of our society and pursue their full 
                measure of happiness. For blind Americans, the white 
                cane is a potent symbol of that freedom--affording them 
                greater independence and mobility. Today we renew our 
                commitment to provide full inclusion and equal 
                opportunities for those among us who are blind or have 
                low vision. As Americans, we must nurture a society 
                that values the unique abilities and individual 
                contributions of all its people.

                Individuals who are blind or have low vision are less 
                constrained and better integrated in our country than 
                ever before, but much work remains to ensure they have 
                the opportunity to reach their full potential. My 
                Administration is committed to securing full and equal 
                access to education and employment for blind Americans 
                and all those with disabilities. The American Recovery 
                and Reinvestment Act substantially increased funding 
                for the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, as 
                well as vocational rehabilitation services, including 
                job training, education, and placement.

                For Americans who are blind or have low vision, a white 
                cane is just one of a wide range of tools that sustain 
                independence and productivity. In recent years, 
                refreshable Braille displays and speech synthesis 
                devices have given these individuals access to the 
                Internet, unlocking a new frontier of limitless 
                possibility. As we encourage the development of new 
                assistive technologies, we must also improve access to 
                existing tools. The Braille code has opened a doorway 
                to literacy for countless individuals, but far too many 
                blind children in our country are not learning to read 
                it. By improving Braille literacy, we will secure a 
                brighter future for these young Americans.

                In the 45 years since White Cane Safety Day was first 
                proclaimed by President Lyndon Johnson, Americans who 
                are blind or have low vision have achieved substantial 
                progress. As leaders in government and business, 
                academics, and the arts, they have made remarkable 
                contributions to our Nation, proving that sight is no 
                requisite for success. We will continue to strive for a 
                more just and equitable Nation that celebrates 
                diversity in all its forms and promotes the full 
                inclusion of all individuals in our communities.

                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, 2009, as White Cane Safety Day. I call upon all 
                Americans to observe this day with appropriate 
                ceremonies, activities, and programs.

[[Page 53878]]

                IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this 
                fifteenth day of October, in the year of our Lord two 
                thousand nine, and of the Independence of the United 
                States of America the two hundred and thirty-fourth.
                    (Presidential Sig.)

[FR Doc. E9-25409
Filed 10-19-09; 11:15 am]
Billing code 3195-W9-P