Allen C. Harris
|October 23, 2002|
To Whom It May Concern:
I am writing to express my opposition to the proposed access-board's rules concerning inter section, use of APS, and Trunckcated Domes. The answer to "safe and independent" travel for blind and visually impaired persons is appropriate training; the kind of training which allows a blind person to travel throughout the land, anywhere, anytime, he/she chooses to go. I have been blind all my life and have traveled "safely and independently" in the fifty States, the District of Columbia and a number of foreign countries. I have not felt disadvantaged by the lack of environmental "add ones", to provide assistance in moving through cities, or other parts of the environment.
The belief that rebuilding the environment to include APS and Truncated Domes is misguided and belies the facts which the vast majority of blind persons, with proper training, have experienced. The truth is, that the access-board is proposing bad public policy and, furthermore, doing significant damage to the efforts of persons with disabilities to achieve full integration into Society on terms of equality. This proposal is "wrong headed" and if allowed to become the "standard", the Board will have participated in a wasteful and foolish fraud.
Please do not proceed with the current proposed rule but, rather developed a moderate, thoughtful approach to certain traffic situations which require some redesign and/or some version of APS, adaptation. The use of such devices should be on a case by case, basis, not at every "walk, do not walk" inter section.
Allen C. Harris, Director, Iowa Department for the Blind
P.S. Although I am Director, of the Iowa Department for the Blind, and believe disclosure of this fact is germane, I do not, in any sense send this letter as a policy adopted by the Iowa Commission for the Blind Board, which is the governing body of the Iowa Department for the blind.
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