Lions Replica Canes
Resolution 2014-02
Whereas, the mission of Lions Clubs International (LCI) is to empower volunteers to serve their communities, meet humanitarian needs and encourage peace and promote international understanding through Lionism, and its vision is to become the global leader in community and humanitarian service; and
Whereas, since LCI's founding in 1917, members have joined together from all walks of life to embrace the philosophy of Lions Clubs International as embodied in its motto: "we serve"; and
Whereas, hundreds of members who are blind and visually impaired have heeded the call to serve in their communities in an effort to share their talents by actively initiating and participating in community service projects; and
Whereas, many such members also serve in positions of leadership as club officers and directors, and at the district level as zone chairpersons and district governors; and
Whereas, since 1951, when the Monterey Park, California, club began the practice, LCI has used a small, plastic cane with a crook for the handle to symbolize its annual fundraising campaign on behalf of the blind; and
Whereas, the image of blind persons has changed significantly for the better since World War II when the crooked cane was the standard mobility tool for blind veterans; and
Whereas, the crooked cane, while still utilized for providing support for individuals with mobility and/or balance limitations, no longer accurately reflects the modern white cane used by a vast majority of blind persons throughout the world as a mobility tool — a cane which is straight and often lacks a red tip; and
Whereas, hundreds of thousands of LCI's crooked canes are placed in letters soliciting donations on behalf of the blind, thereby inadvertently misleading the public regarding the appearance of the modern white cane; and
Whereas, the American Council of Blind Lions — which will celebrate its 43rd anniversary this summer as a chartered affiliate of the American Council of the Blind — believes that the bulky, crooked handle cane reflects an inaccurate and outdated stereotype, the white cane as a fundraising symbol for LCI should accurately and positively represent the cane used by today's independent blind person;
Now, therefore, be it resolved by the American Council of the Blind in convention assembled on the 17th day of July, 2014, at the Riviera Hotel in Las Vegas, Nevada, that the American Council of the Blind, join with its special-interest affiliate, ACB Lions, in calling upon Lions Clubs International to update its white cane symbol by adopting a replica straight cane to accurately reflect the cane used by the vast majority of blind persons to safely and independently navigate worldwide; and
Be it further resolved that ACB Lions and LCI recognize the contribution of Ms. Agnes Douglass for her decades-long work producing these canes and offer assistance to her in changing over to the new straight cane; and
Be it further resolved that this resolution be transmitted to Scott Drumheller, Executive Administrator, Lions Clubs International and Noel Mason, Division Manager of Club Supplies, LCI.
Ray Campbell, Secretary