The President of the European Deafblind Network (EdbN), Ricard Lopez, met with the President of the European Parliament, Roberta Metsola, in the context of the European Parliament of Persons with Disabilities (EPPD) to help raise awareness of the rights of people with deafblindness and the use of the red and white cane.
On the 23rd of May, the European Parliament of Persons with Disabilities was held, which is a major event that brings together the most important European politicians in order to listen to the needs and rights of people with disabilities in Europe. During the day, around 600 people were able to make clear the political demands of the European Disability Movement.
Likewise, the very honorable President Roberta Metsola attended the event to open the hemicycle and to emphasize that accessibility in Europe should not be an exception, but the rule. He also assured that the European Disability Forum is crucial to raise awareness of the problems of people with disabilities. For this reason, as a member of this forum, the president of EDbN considered it convenient to highlight the specific needs of deafblindness and to hand over the red and white cane to Roberta Metsola.
As a physical device, a cane brings innumerable benefits to a person with deafblindness. It helps them spot obstacles in advance, to follow the tactile lines on the streets, to determine the width of the roads they are walking on, as well as to find landmarks. In addition, the red strips on the cane have an informative function, as they allow a person to identify the person carrying the cane as deafblind.
Thus, the red lines indicate the user’s lack of hearing and also indicates that communication should not be the same as with a blind person. In this sense, the action of spreading awareness on this type of cane is crucial.