August 18, 2002
My name is Tom TeBockhorst, and I am a member
of the National Federation of the Blind. I would like to comment on the
Access Boards draft guidelines.
I have been a member of the NFB for
eleven years and I am good cane traveler. I always use my cane everywhere I
go. And I can travel safely and independent with my cane. That is why I
feel strongly against the Access Board installing detectable warning tiles
and audio traffic signals.
We who are blind do not need detectable warning tiles
to find curb cuts, drop offs, ledges, train platforms, and other things by
using our canes and dogs. We also do not need audio traffic signals to
help us cross streets. We can cross streets by using traffic training
skills. We stop when the perpendicular traffic is going, and we go
when the parallel traffic is going.
I went to an orientation center and
learned how to cross streets under sleep shades. I also learned how to find
curb cuts, drop offs, ledges, and escalators under sleep shades. Most blind
people learn there skills at orientation centers.
I feel that money shouldn't be spent
on things we blind people don't need. Such as detectable warning tiles and
audio traffic signals. It should be spent on things we blind people need.
Like Newsline, better Braille literacy for kids, textbooks in alterative
format for blind kids at the same time their sighted peers have them.
Blindness skills for seniors, better mobility skills for blind kids, talking
ATM machines, talking voting machines, and many other things we blind people
to make our lives better.
I hope you take my
comments into consideration before the Access Board makes it final ruling.
And I strongly urge you to not to put in the final ruling about detectable
warning tiles and audio traffic signals. Thank you for taking the time
to read my comments.