Mayor signs proclamation for the blind

Proclamation for the Blind. / Jessica Fairley

Albany Mayor Dorothy Hubbard has signed a proclamation declaring October as 'Meet the Blind' Month.

The National Federation of the Blind has over 70,000 members nationwide, several of whom live in the Albany area. During the month of October those with the organization hold fundraisers and other events to gain support.

Albany Mayor Dorothy Hubbard signed the White Cane proclamation Monday afternoon in her office at the Government Center in downtown Albany.

"These people are visually challenged but they have very good brains. I can assure you of that," says Dorothy Hubbard, Mayor of Albany.

Those with the National Federation of the Blind approached the mayor to sign a proclamation in order to spread awareness about the blind population living within the city.

"We've had our problems in the past but we're doing better and hopefully going to continue to get better," says Max Parker, Spokesperson for the local chapter of the National Federation for the Blind.

The city is using SPLOST funds to update sidewalks to help those who are visually challenged. Parker says spreading awareness and becoming proactive is one way he's helped city leaders understand his disability.

"A blind person is not limited to what he can do because technology in this day and time affords the opportunity of have us do whatever we can do," says Max Parker.

The topic isn't unusual, as one of Albany's city leaders is partially blind. Mayor Hubbard says although his appointment presented staff members with a challenge, he's productive on the job.

"He gets his material and that material is sent to him a format that is computerized in a way that he can read it," says Dorothy Hubbard.

Although technological advances help those who are visually impaired, those with the National Federation of the Blind say it's the employers who are still skeptical.

"The change that we would like to see is to hire more blind people in the workforce," says Max Parker.

Hubbard says her goal is to continue working closely with the disabled, and that's why she made the White Cane Proclamation.

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