# [nfb-talk] Explanation of traffic lights and pedestrian signals

John G. Heim jheim at math.wisc.edu
Thu May 27 22:07:37 UTC 2010

```Well, I think you know that was not a threat.

Anyway, I understand that people are tired of this issue and for the sake of
the list, I will drop it soon. But I would like to thrash out just one more
issue first. Would you still be against audible walk signals if you were
convinced they saved lives?

If you were convinced that audible walk signals saved the lives of blind
pedestrians, you would want the NFB fighting for them, right?

----- Original Message -----
From: " Sarah Baughn" <sarahb006 at comcast.net>
To: "NFB Talk Mailing List" <nfb-talk at nfbnet.org>
Sent: Thursday, May 27, 2010 12:27 PM
Subject: Re: [nfb-talk] Explanation of traffic lights and pedestrian signals

"For your own sake, you should stop insulting me.":  This sounds like a
threat to me.
Sarah
----- Original Message -----
From: "John G. Heim" <jheim at math.wisc.edu>
To: "NFB Talk Mailing List" <nfb-talk at nfbnet.org>
Sent: Thursday, May 27, 2010 7:55 AM
Subject: Re: [nfb-talk] Explanation of traffic lights and pedestrian signals

Let me ask you something, Dewey. This is a fair question...

Would you still be against  audible traffic signals if you were convinced
that they made blind pedestrians safer?  Surely, you wouldn't be against
them on the grounds that they made blind people look helpless even if you
knew that they saved lives, would you?

PS: For your own sake, you should stop insulting me. First of all, you can't
get to me. Its a waste of effort. But it also makes you look bad, not me.
Resorting to insults weakens and distracts from your points.

----- Original Message -----
To: "NFB Talk Mailing List" <nfb-talk at nfbnet.org>
Sent: Wednesday, May 26, 2010 3:31 PM
Subject: Re: [nfb-talk] Explanation of traffic lights and pedestrian signals

the articals you are talking about.
They were put out by sighted people most likely.
They think they know what's best for us, and so many of us just let our
selves be controled by them and not stand up for are selves, were you
sheltered as a kid?
My guess is yes
You were always told that someone else knows what's best for you and you are
to just shut up and do what you are told.
----- Original Message -----
From: "John G. Heim" <jheim at math.wisc.edu>
To: "NFB Talk Mailing List" <nfb-talk at nfbnet.org>
Sent: Wednesday, May 26, 2010 11:26 AM
Subject: Re: [nfb-talk] Explanation of traffic lights and pedestrian signals

But Dewey,that never happens.  Its like asking me what I would do if
martians landed and started eating us.

Again, there is plenty of research showing that audible signals make us
*safer*, not less safe. I've already posted several liks links to articles
about that.  Can you provide any evidence what so ever for your assertion
that audible signals are hazardous to blind pedestrians?

Dewey, please try to understand... You keep insisting that audible signals
are dangerous to blind people but there is simply no reason to believe that.
I don't know where you got that idea but its simply not based on fact. And
continuing to insist on it in spite of all the evidence to the contrary is
meaningless.

Look, I'm not questioning your personal experience. People are different.
Its possible that for you, audible signals don't work. But all available
evidence shows that if its true for you, its only because you are not
typical. For most people, audible walk signals are quite helpful.

----- Original Message -----
To: "NFB Talk Mailing List" <nfb-talk at nfbnet.org>
Sent: Wednesday, May 26, 2010 10:01 AM
Subject: Re: [nfb-talk] Explanation of traffic lights and pedestrian signals

So what do you do when you get hit because someone runns the light and you
can't hear it because of that stupid talking crosswalk?
What do you do then, answer me that.

----- Original Message -----
From: "John G. Heim" <jheim at math.wisc.edu>
To: "NFB Talk Mailing List" <nfb-talk at nfbnet.org>
Sent: Wednesday, May 26, 2010 8:16 AM
Subject: Re: [nfb-talk] Explanation of traffic lights and pedestrian signals

My mobility skills are not at issue here. The fact is that not everyone has
perfect mobility skills and everyone can make a mistake. I've already posted
a link to an article about the ways that audible walk signals help blind
people deal with confusing and difficult situations.  Did you read that
article?

In fact, my mobility skills are just fine. But that's not the point. I have
Wisconsin Council of the Blind and Guide dogs for the Blind. But not
everyone has that access. And even if they do, everyone makes mistakes.
Audible walk signlas help blind people avoid mistakes.

Actually, I'm glad you brought this up. Blaming the blind person for their
problems is not a solution. But all too often, that is exactly what the NFB
does.  Its a direct result of the NFB philosophy that blindness can be
reduced to a mere nuiscance. Well, that may or may not even be true. But the
main problem with it is that it inevitably results in blaming the victim. If
you can't cross a street without audible walk signals, that's your problem.
If you're not Super Blind Guy (or Gal), the NFB has no use for you.

----- Original Message -----
To: "NFB Talk Mailing List" <nfb-talk at nfbnet.org>
Sent: Tuesday, May 25, 2010 7:44 PM
Subject: Re: [nfb-talk] Explanation of traffic lights and pedestrian signals

Maybe you should get some travel training, I don't like them because when
the dam things are makeing all the raket, I can't hear the traffic.
This is a fact of life, people don't always stop for a red light, I want to
be able to hear them.
Maybe someone on the list can explain to you how blind people are able to
tell when the light is ready for you to cross.
These things are where sighted people get there negative stereotypes from.
They think that we can't do anything for our selves, like open a door, cross
the street, find a seat, carry our food, take care of our kids, and much
more.
Its guys like you that hold us back.
That's just one reason that they wont hire us, they think we can't do
anything.
I know someone else like you, he wont even go to the store or to the bank by
him self, and he knows how to, but wants everyone to know that blind people
are stupid and helpless.
Maybe you should get rehab to send you to one of the NFB training centers.
I whent to the Colorado center myself, they are good, I'm not shore about
the other 2, but I'm shore they are good as well.
They can show you how to tell when the light changes, and when and how to
cross the street
----- Original Message -----
From: "John G. Heim" <jheim at math.wisc.edu>
To: "NFB Talk Mailing List" <nfb-talk at nfbnet.org>
Sent: Tuesday, May 25, 2010 2:57 PM
Subject: Re: [nfb-talk] Explanation of traffic lights and pedestrian signals

Yes, of course I need audible walk signals.

I hope you're not trying to imply that I shouldn't need audible walk
signals. By that logic, visible walk signals are also unnecessary. That
would imply that cities all over the globe have wasted millions of dollars
installing visible walk signals for sighted people.  If you don't believe
that visible walk signals help sighted people cross streets more safely, you
should contact the traffic engineers in your city and they will set you
straight. Just as visible signals help sighted people cross streets more
safely, audible signals help blind pedestrians cross streets more safely.

Here is a link to some information about audible walk signals helping blind
people cross streets more safely:
http://www.apsguide.org/appendix_c_research.cfm

If you have any reason to believe that audible signals do not help blind
pedestrians cross the street more safely, I would like to see it.  It
certainly seems counter-intuitive to say that audible signals would not make
blind pedestrians safer. If you're going to say that, you are obligated to
provide some evidence.  The NFB should not be organizing protests against
something that by all appearances would make blind pedestrians safer unless
they have some compelling reason to believe it doesn't work.

Otherwise, the NFB should stop playing games with the lives of blind
pedestrians.

----- Original Message -----
To: "NFB Talk Mailing List" <nfb-talk at nfbnet.org>
Sent: Tuesday, May 25, 2010 2:06 PM
Subject: Re: [nfb-talk] Explanation of traffic lights and pedestrian signals

Why do you think the NFB  should change its stance?
Do you need them?

----- Original Message -----
From: "John G. Heim" <jheim at math.wisc.edu>
To: "NFB Talk Mailing List" <nfb-talk at nfbnet.org>
Sent: Tuesday, May 25, 2010 9:51 AM
Subject: Re: [nfb-talk] Explanation of traffic lights and pedestrian signals

As recently as 2003, the NFB organized protests against audible  walk
signals:
http://nfb.org/legacy/bm/bm03/bm0301/bm030103.htm

Personally, I feel there is no more important issue on which the NFB needs
to change its stance. This is about as wrong-headed as an organization can
be.

----- Original Message -----
From: "Sherri" <flmom2006 at gmail.com>
To: "NFB Talk Mailing List" <nfb-talk at nfbnet.org>; "Florida Association of
Guide Dog Users" <flagdu at nfbnet.org>; "NAGDU Mailing List,the National
Association of Guide Dog Users" <nagdu at nfbnet.org>; "NFB Florida"
<nfbf-l at nfbnet.org>; "NFB of Florida parents" <fopbc at nfbnet.org>
Cc: "Dianne Ketts" <dianne at ketts.org>
Sent: Saturday, May 22, 2010 8:20 AM
Subject: [nfb-talk] Explanation of traffic lights and pedestrian signals

The FCB is streaming their convention and I am currently listening to a
speech by an O & M instructor, Dianne Ketts, who happens to work for the
Lighthouse of Central Florida. I know Dianne personally and find her to be a
very progressive-thinking O & M instructor. She is explaining the various
kinds of Pedestrian signals, traffic lights and the use of audible
pedestrian signals. She particularly emphasizes that you need proper O & M
techniques and training whether or not the audible indications exists,
saying that the audible signal only indicates that the walk signal is
showing, not that it is safe to cross the street. I find her outlook
refreshing and the lecture fascinating.  It is interesting to learn how the
various lights are actuated as well as how the audible pedestrian signals
work. I think it would be of great use to have an explanation of these
various signals and the technology regarding APS'S AT A FUTURE NFBF
CONVENTION AND EVEN POSSIBLY AT AN NFB national convention. I really believe
with traffic patterns changing, with more and more cars on our roadways,
this information is useful for us to know. She says, for example, that
whether there is an APS or not, there are some intersections where it is
imperative for people to find the push-button. Really interesting!

Sherri

Sherri Brun, NFBF Secretary and Newsline® Coordinator
E-mail:  flmom2006 at gmail.com
http://www.nfbnewslineonline.org
http://www.nfbflorida.org

"Don't give up something you want forever for something you want only for
now!"
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