October 28, 2002
Dear Architectural and Transportation Barriers Compliance Board:
As a blind tax-paying American, I would like to inform you that the proposed,
"Architectural Barriers Act (ABA) is a violation of my "Public Right-of-Way." It
assumes, at a potential cost of 40 billion dollars (which is just plain
madness), that I cannot ever be viewed as a competent and efficient cane or dog
traveler who can be responsible for my own safety or the safety of others.
There are simply no grounds for the mass installation of tactile re-surfacing
along the edges of every sidewalk in our great country. It compromises the
functionality of our wheel chair driving comrades, as it does our community of
white cane users. Implementation of such environmental alterations is an immense
breech of face the ADA has maintained with America’s disabled. Keep your fears
as sighted non-disabled people to yourselves. You assume that we are afraid, and
that we do not have the skills required for independent travel.
I ask you to seriously reconsider making this act into law. If it is so
important for you to use the case of the disabled to generate jobs, and funding
for those communities that could benefit from them, then seek to invest that 40
billion dollars in bolstering special education programs or give it to Social
Security so that America’s steadily increasing elderly population will not have
to die because you couldn’t allow them the money to purchase the expensive
variety of medications they require.
For the love of all that is sane in the world, do not break down any progress we
have made as America’s blind and visually impaired. Allow this act to go
through, and you will compromise the legitimacy we have worked so hard for.