September 6, 2002
I entirely agree with those among the blind, and mobility impaired,
that any intention to add barriers along train or subway platforms should be
done away with. Although safety is indeed a critical issue, it does not have
anything to do with accessibility. In this case, what some perceive as a
means of safety, would only serve to hinder train or subway accessibility for
the blind or mobility impaired.
Contrary to how deeply I am honored by others concern for my
people, the concept of such barriers gives the impression that it was thought
up by a group of non-disabled people. If such individuals were too put
themselves through the scenarios of negotiating the boarding of a train or
subway from a platform while wearing sleep shades, and using a cane, or using
a wheel chair, they will realize the truth of the matter. Such proposed
barriers would impose environmental limitations to the disabled person that is
seeking access in the train or subway boarding environment.
Such barriers would be an extremely poor use of funding, funding that
could be more affectively put to use elsewhere. These barriers would be a set
back to the commuting disabled populations. Ultimately, you may find, if they
are indeed added to the environment, a fairly sizable portion of sighted
commuters might trip over them, and initiate some law suit, provided that they
haven't been killed.
For all of whom could be affected, please make the correct decision.
Thank-you for your time.
Second vice president of the Connecticut affiliate of the National Federation
of the Blind