September 27, 2002
To Whom It May Concern:
I am blind, but I am also an American taxpayer! I am strongly opposed to your
June 17 proposed rules which would require that, to "help" the blind, our
government would require detectable warnings at every street corner or
accessible traffic signals at every traffic light.
What blind people need is high-quality training, not gadgets and gimmicks!
The enormous financial cost to the American taxpayer far outweighs any
supposed benefit to the blind. Trained blind people cross busy streets "just
as they are" every day, but an outraged American taxpayer won't be so eager to
hire us if this high cost is heaped upon them.
The cost of replacing one light signal for an audible signal would more than
pay for excellent training for a blind person who could then become a
contributing tax payer. trained blind persons use standard lighted signals
and can determine with the cane where the street is, not adding dangerous
strips or other gimmicks, asphalt of the street and cement of the side walk
feel and sound different.
It is absolutely necessary that an independent cane traveler be able to listen
to all the traffic sounds around when crossing a street, and audible signals
only serve to get in the way, this could possibly cause more blind persons to
be hit or injured by people running red lights or making right on red turns.