|October 12, 2002|
To Whom It May Concern:
As the president of the largest consumer organization of the blind in the state of California it is my responsibility to advise this board of the sentiments of the National Federation of the Blind of California.
The majority of our members travel about easily, and have for years, with either their white cane or guide dog. The advent of audible signals and detectable warnings, in most instances, has not been helpful but often disconcerting. We, as blind travelers, use the sounds of the traffic flow to cross intersections. We use our white cane to locate curbs and find the detectable warnings to be hazardous, particularly in rainy or snowy areas.
We further do not feel that it is the taxpayer's responsibility to provide such devices. These guidelines recommending the installation of audible signals and detectable warnings at every intersection in every city are totally unacceptable. There may be instances at particularly difficult crossings where such audible signals could be helpful. On the whole the vibro-tactile warnings are much preferred. In either situation there needs to be standardization of the placement of such devices.
Thank you for your attention to our concerns.
Nancy Burns, President
National Federation of the Blind of California
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