Proclamation: White Cane Safety Day, 2000 (10/14/00)
                              THE WHITE HOUSE

                       Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release                            October 14, 2000

                        WHITE CANE SAFETY DAY, 2000
                               - - - - - - -
                              A PROCLAMATION

     Last month at the Olympic Games in Sydney, American runner Marla
Runyan made history in the women?s 1500-meter race.  She was not considered
a favorite in the event and won no medals, placing ninth in the final
competition.  But as the first legally blind athlete ever to qualify for
and compete in an Olympic event, Marla set an extraordinary precedent and
proved to millions of people across the globe that disability need not be a
limitation on achievement or a barrier to success.

     Marla Runyan?s accomplishment reflects the spirit of two historic
pieces of legislation whose milestone anniversaries we celebrate this year.
Ten years ago, the Americans with Disabilities Act was signed into law to
guarantee access to public accommodations and services and to outlaw
workplace discrimination for people with disabilities.  Twenty-five years
ago, the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act became law, ensuring
that people with disabilities have access to a free and appropriate public
education.  Both of these laws have made a significant impact on the lives
of millions of Americans with disabilities by allowing them to pursue their
dreams and make their own contributions to our society.

     But even before passage of these landmark laws, the white cane was
helping to open doors of opportunity for many blind and visually impaired
Americans.  With proper training, people using the white cane can enjoy
greater mobility and safety by determining the location of curbs, steps,
uneven pavement, and other physical obstacles in their path.  The white
cane has given them the freedom to travel independently to their schools
and workplaces and to participate more fully in the life of their

     The white cane is a simple tool, but, like Marla Runyan?s
accomplishments, it reminds us that the only barriers against people with
disabilities are discriminatory attitudes and practices that our society
has too often placed in their way.  As we observe White Cane Safety Day,
let us reaffirm our commitment to building a society where we embrace the
talents, energy, and contributions of every individual.

     To honor the many achievements of blind and visually impaired citizens
and to recognize the white cane?s significance in advancing independence,
the Congress, by joint resolution approved October 6, 1964, has designated
October 15 of each year as "White Cane Safety Day."

     NOW, THEREFORE, I, WILLIAM J. CLINTON, President of the United States
of America, do hereby proclaim October 15, 2000, as White Cane Safety Day.
I call upon the people of the

United States, government officials, educators, and business leaders to
observe this day with appropriate programs, ceremonies, and activities.

     IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this fourteenth day of
October, in the year of our Lord two thousand, and of the Independence of
the United States of America the two hundred and twenty-fifth.

                              WILLIAM J. CLINTON

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