Larry E. Streeter
|October 23, 2002|
I am a 57 year-old blind person who has traveled not only in this
country but also in past years extensively throughout most of Europe. I was
trained at a rehabilitation center in Texas some 38 years ago. My instructors
placed high expectations on me to perform in a confident fashion and I have
always met that standard.
Recently, I made a trip to an eastern city where audible traffic signals are used in the downtown area.
As I stood on the corner, I heard the all too familiar sound of chirping birds. I stood at the intersection for a few light changes and just listened. I determined that the sound I was hearing was not the audible signal but rather a flock of birds in the tree located near the intersection. To put it mildly, I was certainly glad that I had not used the audible signals but rather moved with the flow of traffic to cross the street. To state it clearer, I could have really placed myself in a dangerous situation had I depended upon modern day technology.
Enough is enough. Audible traffic signals often place the blind in unstable circumstances. Quality cane
travel training in our schools and rehabilitation centers is what is needed to assist the blind of this nation,
not audible traffic signals and detectable warning systems. Blind persons who support the technology
that the Access Board is pushing often lack the skills and/or the proper positive attitudes to move
competently throughout the built environment.
My tax dollars should be spent wisely. The cost of altering the environment with various fancy pieces
of technology or tactile devices will be enormous. If the Access Board position is adopted, it will
clearly demonstrate a lack of belief in the abilities of the blind of our country. I am pleased to say
that I vehemently oppose the Board’s position.
Larry E. Streeter
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