|September 19, 2002|
I am a 53 year old blind woman who learned to travel without audible signals. When we started to get a few back in the eighties, I just thought it was great! After all cars are a lot bigger than we are and can do a lot of damage to us, including killing us! I believe that we need all the help we can get, just as all of you sighted people do with traffic lights that you can see to tell you when to stop and when to go. Since audible signals were first presented as an option, NFB has been against their implementation, and I don't know why. I don't believe, however, that they represent the needs of most blind people, I believe that they are probably just the most vocal in advocacy for their point of view. They certainly don't represent how I and many of my blind friends feel, I meet many blind people and I have never met one who says they don't like the audible signals.
October 22, 2002
I think that I might have already written to you, but just in case I haven't
done so I will send this. My name is LaWanda Ezell and I live at [...] Sacramento, CA 95826. It's like a friend of mine said, the older I get
the more audible traffic signals I want. I am now 53 and have been traveling on
my own since I was fifteen, and I just love the audible signals. Of course I
learned how to travel using traffic sounds, but there always just a bit of
uncertainty about whether I really could go or not, and sometimes there isn't
parallel traffic to use as a guide. When I hear the audible signal, I know that
I can go right then, I don't have to wonder if I will have enough time to get
across the street, and I don't have to wonder if people are going to turn in
front of me. One time my husband and I were almost killed while crossing Market
Street in San Francisco, we mistakenly crossed against the traffic something
that would have been avoided if there had been an audible signal available.
In any group of people there are always divergent views, people have different priorities for money spent etc. I want to believe that those who oppose the signals are honest people, and I do for the most part, but I can't help but feel that many haven't thought this through clearly. If we get killed while trying to cross streets, without adequate information about whether we have the light or not, then we won't be alive to enjoy the benefits that money freed from use by installing traffic signals would buy. Thank you for reading my letter.
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