|September 15, 2002|
Having the signals audible on both sides of the street gives me a beginning point to step off the curb as well as an aiming target for crossing streets, particularly helpful when the streets angle slightly.
If you tour the RNIB (Royal National Institute for the Blind) facilities in Great Britain, you would see how the tactile detectible warnings on the floor signal to the blind person that he is passing in front of a dangerous area (such as a door opening out into a hall) or that there is a curb or obstacle ahead.
In Japan, the tactile detectible warnings come in two patterns: parallel lines mean it is clear to travel in the direction of the parallel lines; half circles raised (truncated domes) means there is danger ahead such as a curb or a railroad platform dropoff.
Such traffic aids would make blind people more independent and self-confident with mobility travel. It would give them a safety net. You try crossing a street or navigating across a platform and into a train while blindfolded and using only a cane, and you will see what I mean!
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