Blind and Visually Impaired Pedestrians: What Are Their Difficulties When Crossing the Street?

By Carole Martinez: For Complete Post, Click Here…

Blind and visually impaired pedestrians can face many obstacles and challenges when they navigate the streets, especially for crossing them.

Abled pedestrians cross the street in an automatic way without even thinking about it. They simply check out the color of the traffic lights and start walking as soon as the green man appears.

They “just” have to be careful when crossing the street by checking if a car is coming. For blind and visually impaired pedestrians, being careful is a state of mind. It never leaves them.

Because as soon as they step foot outside, the world can easily become inhospitable. But if you become aware of their struggles and issues, you’ll be able to make sure they can safely cross the streets of your city.

There are solutions that enable blind and visually impaired pedestrians to feel less anxious when crossing the street. First, let’s see what actions they need to take to safely cross the street.

  1. Locate the beginning of the crossing
    This actually represents the most challenging action for blind and visually impaired pedestrians.

They more or less know where they stand on the intersection. Other pedestrians rely on visual cues to spot the desired crossing and go towards it. But how can they know where the crossing begins?

They can rely on a locator tone that constantly emits sound.

The locator tone is used as an audio signage: it helps blind and visually impaired pedestrians find the beginning of the crossing.

Unfortunately, not all intersections are equipped with one. So what can they do when there’s no locator tone?

Either people with visual impairments are already familiar with the intersection and they know where the crossing begins. They may have tips like counting steps.

Or they can focus on the ambient sound: traffic with cars coming and going, people talking while waiting their turn to cross…

They can also ask another pedestrian to tell them where the crossing is.

  1. Press the pushbutton

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