THE CAPITOL – The president of the Tourism and Social Welfare Commission of the House of Representatives, Néstor Alonso Vega, commemorated this past Wednesday, October 15, the International Day of the White Cane, as a symbol of the effort and tenacity that blind people make to integrate into society.
As part of the activities, which were framed in strict health and safety rules, Alonso Vega was accompanied by several Representatives who blindfolded themselves for an hour in order to know first-hand how to interact without using the sense of view.
The legislators did tasks such as walking through the corridors of the House of Laws, sitting down to have a snack and even interacting in the Chamber of the Chamber, among others.
“This time we decided to do something different, that’s why we invited several fellow legislators, including our friend Jorge ‘Georgie’ Navarro Suárez, to spend several hours of the day blindfolded so that they know how to work, how to work a blind person develops in the Legislature, ”said Alonso Vega, in written statements.
According to available data, White Cane Day has been celebrated in the United States since the 1960s.
“I thank the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Carlos ‘Johnny’ Méndez, for always commemorating this important day that celebrates the great contribution made by the blind community in Puerto Rico. Today we recognize the relevance of such a simple but indispensable object. This object, the white cane, helps blind people to move, identifies and allows other people to help them when they need it, ”added the Accumulation Representative.
Alonso Vega was blind at age 11, and was elected representative by accumulation in the 2016 general elections with his motto: “you don’t need sight to meet the needs of the people.”
According to recent data from the United States Census Bureau, 6.2 percent of the population in Puerto Rico has some kind of vision impairment, a figure that represents a total of 214,243 people with severe visual impairment or total blindness.