October 24, 2002
Dear Members of the Access Board,
I am a blind American and I support the recommendations of the PROWAC. I use
weekly, and would not be able to safely access the bus stop near my computer
classes without them.
I have been blind for twenty years or so. I travel very well with either a long
cane, or a guide dog.
When I had sight, I did a lot of pedestrian travel, and was immensely benefited
by illuminated walk
signals. There are many pedestrian crossings, nowadays, that require more than
just the traffic
signal to indicate safe crossing. As a blind taxpayer, I would like my tax
dollars to be extended
toward providing this same benefit to me and others. Making walk signals audible
will save lives, and each life saved is precious.
Since it is increasingly necessary to employ technology to keep traffic flowing,
it is even more
necessary than ever to keep pedestrian signals effective. For those who cannot
see, making signals
audible solves this problem. Such audible signals are especially necessary where
traffic regulation is complex, at T-intersections, and at pedestrian crossings
where traffic is stopped for pedestrians though there is no through
I am aware that there are some who claim to speak for the blind, and oppose
audible signals. I strongly
urge you to employ common-sense, and realize that these individuals can choose
to ignore an audible
signal if they wish, but those of us whose lives and independence will be
preserved by these signals cannot always avoid the dangerous crossings where
audible signals could be placed. I know that audible signals are the singular
factor enabling me to cross at certain places. I also know that there are places
I must go to which I cannot reach independently, simply because a crossing
signal is required but is not currently audible.
Please support the recommendations of the PROWAC, because they will make life
more safe and independent for me and thousands of other people who cannot see.
Thank you for your consideration of this matter.