Thursday, September 2, 2010

Living in the suburbs

As a blind person, there are definite challenges to living in the suburbs as opposed to living down town.  For what it is worth, here are some of my challenges.

 

If sidewalks are not clearly identifiable, I have difficulty finding my way.  Malls and other buildings are more spread out. 

Some streets may be quieter than the downtown ones but I need to exercise much more caution in that I have to ensure that no cars would sneak up on me if there are no traffic lights.

 

Finding people to help me on quiet sidewalks are more difficult than down town.  I may not have too much trouble avoiding crowded sidewalks but that's the trade off for not being able to get help as readily as if I were living down town.  During the winter, sidewalks are not always cleared of the snow on side streets and there may be the odd snow bank to deal with; not as bad as living down town.  If there is no direct transportation to malls, and if they are not within walking distance, I need to take a cab.  In short, transportation in the suburbs is often more of a challenge than down town. 

 

Socializing is also more of a challenge when you live in the suburbs because it takes a blind person longer to get to their destination when they are unable to drive and have to depend on public transit.  There are different challenges to face for a blind person when they live in the suburbs as opposed to down town.

 

I'm Donna J. Jodhan your friendly accessibility advocate wishing you a terrific day and urging you to go out there and tell others about the various challenges faced by blind persons who live in the suburbs.  If you would like to learn more about how blind persons find their way around, then visit www.nfb.org or www.rnib.org.

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