I am responding to a request from a fellow
member of the blind community in this nation. She, and I, are members of the
American Council of the Blind (ACB), its state affiliate the Washington
Council of the Blind (WCB), and local chapters in our communities. I support
the positions of ACB, WCB, and many people who are blind that, failure of
national, regional, and local government to provide for the require and
implement rational policies and practices resulting in the installation of
tactile warnings and audible pedestrian signals at intersections would be
unjustified and unjustifiable.
I am legally blind; I spent nearly twenty (20)
years as a Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor serving blind clients, and it
is obvious to me from my experience that the safety and welfare of blind
people in general will be best served by an all inclusive approach that
recognizes the needs of the many, not the needs of the few.
It is obvious, I believe, that blind people are
not "all the same", any more than any group of individuals is "all the same".
It is true for "sighted people", and for "blind people", that some will have
varying degrees of functional ability. But, contrary to the ideological
perspective being foisted upon the public at large by a foolish few in the
broader community of blind persons, people who are blind cannot do everything
others do with eyesight just by using a cane.
The blind community, like any community of people,
is composed of some whose motives are not in the best interest of all. I hope
you will "see through" the verbal shrapnel put out by a minority of blind
people in this nation, and make the logical, rational, and right choice for
the safety, health, and welfare of ALL blind people.
Thank you for considering my comments.
Douglas L. Hildie