October 24, 2002
I am blind and have just retired from teaching. I belong to many organizations,
and travel throughout my community and the country. I daily cross streets that
are dangerous, because I can not see the walk signs. I listen for parallel
traffic and then step off and cross. Several times, I have been caught in
traffic. I cannot tell you how frightening those experiences were for me and for
my guide dog. When lights are fully actuated, the danger increases dramatically
if you can not see the walk sign. If the actuated lighting systems were
accessible, I would have access to the same information as a sighted person.
Accessible pedestrian Signals evens the playing field when crossing the street.
We need the same information as a sighted person, but we, of course, need it
auditoraly, not visually. With the advent of electric-gas cars, those of us who
are blind or visually impaired will be at a significant disadvantage and in
extreme danger, because we will not be able to hear them, nor will we be able to
Please help us to have safe access when crossing streets in our communities and
throughout the country.
President, American Council of the Blind of Ohio