Gov. McMaster honors blind in S.C. for achievements


Leaders of South Carolina's blind community, including National Federation of the Blind of South Carolina President Jennifer Bazer and NFBSC Federation Center Chair Ed Bible, joined South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster recently for a special presentation saluting White Cane Day and the achievements of blind South Carolinians.

Gov. McMaster read a state proclamation in honor of the event, urging all residents to "renew their dedication to eliminating barriers for persons who are blind and visually impaired and to recognize their value as individuals, employees and productive members of our communities."

He noted the 1972 White Cane Law, enacted by the South Carolina General Assembly, was a 20-year forerunner of the landmark Americans with Disabilities Act, which is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year. The White Cane is recognized as a symbol of independence for members of the blind community.

Other guests who attended the ceremony, which was held outside the Governor's Office, included Commissioner Darline Graham of the South Carolina Commission for the Blind; state Rep. Rita Allison; Lions District Gov. Judy Scott; Jolene Madison, director of special education at the South Carolina School for the Deaf and the Blind; Lions Vice District Gov. Jim Barbare; Steve Fullerton, a manager at Clemson University; Billy Irwin, a young blind man who has successfully found employment at Clemson; an area blind student, Matthew Duffell-Hoffman; Julie Bible; and Dom Calabrese, a consultant, professor and writer, who helped organize the event.

Following the presentation, Gov. McMaster posed for a group photo.