[nabs-l] should the blind adapt to the world, or should the world adapt to us?

T. Joseph Carter carter.tjoseph at gmail.com
Mon Jun 22 04:21:26 UTC 2009


I know it happens because of the signals because I've made the error 
myself.  I thought I heard the signal for this block, and it was for 
the adjacent one, echoing off the building.  The person I was walking 
with admits to making the same mistake, more than once, listening to 
the sound but not looking.  I've observed others doing it at two 
specific intersections, frequently.


On Sun, Jun 21, 2009 at 03:29:52PM -0700, Len Burns wrote:
> Joe,
> I think you are giving way too much credit to these signals.  How many  
> times have you seen/heard/whatever people make unsafe crossings without  
> such distractions?  I observe this all the time, whether there happens  
> to be an auditory signal in the neighborhood or not.
> I am not at risk for such a mishap for the simple reason that I use such  
> signals as one, and only one, piece of information to decide when it is  
> safe to cross a street.
> I do agree with you on the quality of many of the signals however.  They  
> can be implemented to be inoffensive, with clear safe indicators.  Do  
> you know why the better quality ones have not been used in this  
> commuity?  It is because of squabbling between blindness organizations.  
> On one street the better quality ones were ripped out and the ones such 
> as you describe put in their place.  I in in a position to know because I 
> know the person who fought to have it done right.  I define better 
> quality as the ones with a quiet sound indicating the location of the 
> walk button, and spoken indicators when the signal changes as to which 
> direction has the walk sign.  This are unambiguous and not a public 
> nuisance.
> -Len
> T. Joseph Carter wrote:
>> Alena,
>> Have you ever crossed a street at the wrong time because you heard one  
>> of those signals from a block away?  I've seen sighted and blind people 
>> do this on SW Broadway in front of the Portland State campus.  If it  
>> were not a college campus where cars are used to people wandering into  
>> the street randomly, there would likely have been numerous fatalities 
>> as a result of poorly implemented signals.
>> I would fight against such poorly designed and implemented signals.  In 
>> fact, I support the notion of removing the signals installed around the 
>> Portland State campus because they are dangerous.  At SW 5th and  
>> Broadway, there's a recently installed new signal that is pretty nice  
>> overall.  If the city wants to replace Portland State's dangerous  
>> signals with these new ones, I'm all for it.
>> But the city doesn't want to do that, because as far as they're  
>> concerned, the intersections are already accessible.  To whom, and 
>> under what circumstances?  I think you can see the problem.
>> I'll stay out of the currency issue as it is now a moot point.
>> Joseph
>> On Thu, Jun 18, 2009 at 07:02:13PM -0700, alena roberts wrote:
>>> I think that attitude ignores that accessibility benefits more than
>>> the people it is originally intended to. When I cross a street that
>>> has an audible signal I not only pay attention to the sounds from the
>>> signal, but I also listen to my traffic. I had the priveledge of
>>> getting O and M training. Not everyone gets the training they need.
>>> Audible signals also help people who can see, and those who may have
>>> low vision. Fighting against accessibility doesn't help anyone,
>>> especially people with disabilities. I think we need to support
>>> teaching people skills and having things be accessible to us at the
>>> same time.
>>> For those of you that don't think that our money doesn't descriminate
>>> against the blind, I respectfully disagree. Almost all other countries
>>> in the world have money that is easily distinguishable, and we don't.
>>> There are simple modifications that can be made to our bills to make
>>> them distinguishable. The EU even made sure to talk to the blind
>>> community before designing the Euro so that they made sure it would be
>>> usable by all citizens. I shouldn't have to use a machine to tell what
>>> denomination of money I am using because the treasury department
>>> thinks it's too hard to change the money.
>>> Just some thoughts.
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