Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Challenges: Subway stations in Toronto

If you ever have the chance to travel on the subway in Toronto, then you might as well brace yourself for a challenging experience.  Not only will you encounter tons of folks walking and running in every direction but you will also encounter all kinds of other obstacles.

For someone who is vision impaired, I have had the opportunity to travel on this subway in different ways.  That is, I did it when I had functional vision and now I continue to do it as someone with almost no vision.  I use my vision to help me navigate heavy traffic in the subway stations.  I use it to help me cope and I use it to help me pack huge packages of patience as I prepare to travel on the Toronto subway.

I am afraid that it is only going to get more challenging with time.  Of course, you can choose the times when traffic is at its lowest, if you have that option or opportunity to do so.

Let's say between 10 am and 2 pm would be the best times to travel as freely as you can.  Trust me when I tell you that it is a pure luxury when you, as a vision-impaired person, can travel without too much trepidation.

Once you understand how the lines go, from east to west and from north to south, you can find your way around quite easily.  The lines are quite long but that's how it is for a large city like Toronto.  Stops are announced as the subway arrives at each station and this helps a lot.  Seats are quite comfortable and if you are unable to find a seat then you need to hang on to one of the many poles in the subway.

You may or may not find a good Samaritan who would be willing to give up their seat for you as a vision-impaired person.  It all depends on whether or not their heads are either buried in a book or their eyes are glued to an idevice or that airbuds are stuck in their ears.

I'm Donna J. Jodhan, your friendly accessibility advocate, wishing you a terrific day. 

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