Minnesota White Cane Law

“Chapter 256C” applies specifically to problems of blind and visually impaired citizens

  

Position of the state with regard to the blind and handicapped:

The state of Minnesota shall encourage and enable the blind, the visually handi­capped, and the otherwise physically disabled to parti­cipate fully in the social and economic life of the state and to engage in remunerative employment. The blind, the visually handicapped, and the otherwise physically disabled shall be employed by the state, it’s political subdivisions, the public schools, and in all other employment supported in whole or in part by public funds on the same terms and conditions as the able-bod­ied, unless it is shown that the particular disability prevents the performance of the work involved.

Public Accomodations: The blind, the visually handi­capped, and the otherwise physically disabled have the same right as the able-bodied to the full and free use of the streets, highways, sidewalks, walkways, public building, public facilities, and other public places: and are entitled to full and equal accommo­dations, advantages, facilities and privileges of all common carriers, airplanes, motor vehicles, railroad trains, mo­tor buses, boats, or any other public conveyances or modes of transportation, hotels, lodg­ing places, places of public accommodation, amusement, or resort, and other places to which the general public is invited, subject only to the conditions and limitations established by law and applicable alike to all persons.

Every totally or partially blind or deaf person shall have the right to be accompanied by a guide dog in any of the places listed in section 363.03, sub-division 10. The person shall be liable for any damage done to the premises, or facilities by such dog.

Housing accomodations: Subdivision 1. Blind per-sons, visually handicapped persons, and other physically disabled persons shall be entitled to full and equal access, as other members of the gen­eral public, to all housing accommodations offered for rent, lease, or compensation, subject to the conditions and limitations established by law and applicable alike to all persons.

Subd. 2. “Housing accom­modations means any real property, or portion thereof, which is used or occupied or is intended, arranged, or designed to be used or occu­pied, as the home, residence or sleeping place of one or more human beings, but shall not include any single family residence the occupants of which rent, lease, or furnish for compensation not more than one room therein.

Subd.3. Nothing in this sec­tion shall require any Person renting, leasing, or providing for compensation real prop­erty to modify the property in any way or provide a higher degree of care for a blind person, visually handicapped person, or other physically handicapped person than for a person who is not physi­cally disabled.

Subd. 4. Every totally or par­tially blind or deaf person who has a guide dog, or who ob­tains a guide dog, shall be entitled to full and equal ac­cess to all housing accommo­dations provided for in this section, and shall not be re­quired to pay extra compen­sation for such guide dog but shall be liable for any damage done to the premises by such guide dog.

Blind or deaf pedestrians; civil liability:

The driver of a vehicle ap­proaching a totally or par­tially blind pedestrian who is carrying a cane predominantly white or metallic in color, with or without a red tip, or using a guide dog, or totally or par­tially deaf person with such a guide dog identified with a burnt orange collar or leash, shall bring such vehicle to a stop and give the right of way at any intersection of any street, avenue, alley or other public highway to such blind or deaf pedestrian.

Proclamation by governor: Each year, the governor may take suitable public notice of October 15 as white cane safety day and may issue a procla­mation in which the gover­nor:

(1)  comments upon the sig­nificance of the white cane,

(2)  calls upon the citizens of the state to observe the provisions of the white cane law and to take precau­tions necessary to the safety of the disabled,

(3)  reminds the citizens of the state of the policies with respect to the disabled herein declared and urges citizens to cooperate in giv­ing effect to them, and

(4)  emphasizes the need of the citizens to be aware of the presence of disabled persons in the community and to keep safe and functional for the disabled, the streets, highways, sidewalks, walkways, public build­ings, public facilities, other public places, places or public accommodation, amusement and resort, and to other places to which the public is invited, and to offer assistance to dis­abled persons upon appro­priate occasions.

Criminal penalty:

Any person, or the agent of any person, firm, or corpora­tion who denies or interferes with admittance to or enjoy­ment of the public facilities enumerated in section 256C.025, or otherwise inter­feres with the rights if a totally or partially blind or oth­erwise physically disabled person under section 256C.02 shall be guilty of a misde­meanor.