|October 27, 2002|
Dear Members of the Access Board,
I am writing this e-mail in support of the Access Board's Draft Guidelines on Public Rights-of-Way 36 CFR Parts 1190 and 1191 [Docket No. 02-1] RIN 3014-AA26 published in the Federal Register June 17, 2002
Below are just a few of the points I want to make:
* Not everyone with vision loss walks out of their home with perfect mobility skills.
* If an intersection warrants a "walk" and "don't walk" signage for those who are sighted, people who are blind should expect that same information, through Accessible Pedestrian Signals (APS).
* Light poles are never placed in the same location at corners, so indicator tones, which can be programmed to adjust with the sound of traffic, should be used for blind pedestrians to easily use them and to help not get disoriented.
* The directions of ramps at corners should help us gain proper orientation, not send us at an angle and leave it up to us to guess on our line of travel.
* All people should receive information warning them that they are approaching a potentially dangerous situation. Detectable Warnings, at that important moment, give the blind traveler the cue to stop and take notice of where they are. Sighted people see the street approaching, regardless if the curb is nearly flush to the street. They see the end of a platform approaching and so know to stop before falling onto train tracks, etc. Detectable Warnings aren't a nicety, they're a necessity!
* People who are blind often travel in new surroundings. Therefore, a variety of Way Finding tools should be used to assist blind persons in negotiating their environment.
Vivian and Peg
Guide Dogs of America, Class 324
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