September 9, 2002
I am a blind person who has traveled
independently since the 1950s using a white cane and doing it well. I have
worked full time until retiring and raised a family. When my children were
growing up it was my responsibility to get them to places they needed to go
and do that safely as a blind cane traveler. I suppose I could deduct from
this that tactile warnings and audible traffic signs are not necessary. Well,
that is just untrue and totally irresponsible thinking.
I have to ask myself, (why do sighted pedestrians
need walk signs, back up beepers on vehicles, flashing lights at dangerous
crossing and on and on) And yet we as blind people are expected to be that
highly trained perceptive super person who can that can do all of this great
stuff with just one white cane.
It is just not reasonable.
Our communities and particularly road ways have
become much more complex in the past thirty years and intersections are much
more complicated and traffic patterns vary from intersection to intersection.
I suspect that is the reason that safety minded people thought that walk and
don't walk signs would be helpful to pedestrians. Well, why is it so
unreasonable to want the same degree of safety as a blind traveler?
I am sure that these arguments have been advanced
many times, but as a blind citizen, I believe that I have as much rights as
any one else to be able to travel and use public services that are provided
to make streets and public facilities accessible and safe for me to use.
I really hope that after all the years of talking
and working that the PROWAC report will be accepted.
Thank you for your help in accomplishing this.