|Ken Kresse||August 19, 2002|
On behalf of the California Association of the Deaf (CAD), we are submitting this brief comment in full support of the draft guideline that would require TTYs on call boxes that provide for two-way communication (1110.6.2).
Here in California, highways in many counties have a system of emergency call boxes. Currently, three of these, including Los Angeles with thousands of call boxes, have installed or are installing call boxes equipped with TTYs. Nevertheless, most local systems remain virtually unusable by deaf motorists. The protocol is for these motorists to tap on the call-box handsets (call-connect lights are being installed on call boxes that are replaced), and the California Highway Patrol will be dispatched to the location. We have documented repeated instances where this simply does not work. Deaf motorists have been stuck waiting for long periods of time, sometimes in darkness and bad weather. Some have had to depend on hearing motorists acting as good Samaritans. As a result, deaf motorists have been placed at increased risk of harm and have been forced to endured frustration, anxiety and extreme inconvenience due simply to the inaccessibility of the systems.
CAD is a statewide membership organization that undertakes advocacy on behalf of its members and other deaf and hard-of-hearing people to advance and protect their rights to equal access and nondiscrimination.
California Center for Law and the Deaf
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