|Michael Busboom||September 9, 2002|
I am writing to you to ask you to take to heart the concerns of us who
regularly utilize tactile warnings and acoustic signals. I am blind and am a
very accomplished traveller. My professional career has taken me to three
continents, so I would consider myself to be very independent.
One of the things on which I regularly rely, whenever possible, is the tactile markings that are along some railroad tracks, street curbs and at stair landings. I also depend heavily on acoustic signals at busy crossings to aid me in crossing safely.
I spend much of my time in Europe. While Europe is not perfect, many countries here are far ahead of the U.S. in the area of augmentative approaches to assist blind people in traffic and pedestrian settings. I would be very sad to see the state decline even further in the United States.
While one can accomplish a significant amount without the aid of acoustic signals, they are of immeasurable help in many situations because they take the guesswork out of matters that can be life or death scenarios. Why should blind people through the loss of these signals be subject to a risk that the public at large would never be asked to tolerate?
Most cordially yours,
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