Well, I can at least understand, if not completely agree with, the NFB
stance on pedestrian signals. As I understand it, their feeling is that if
a person relies on the sound of the signal, s/he won't rely on traffic cues,
and then if the signal is ever broken or malfunctioning, the person won't
know how to cross the street effectively. I suspect the other issue is
similar to the stance on descriptive video, as I understand it: it's another
example of sighted people adapting to the blind person.
I sort of agree with the first stance, but the second is ludicrous in my not-so-humble opinion. Frankly, my feeling (a bit arrogant though it may be, and I've made my peace with that), I spend so much of my energy and time adapting to a sighted world, if it has to adapt to my needs once in a while, so be it.
As one who experienced a broken beeping signal, if I didn't have a decent grasp on traffic sounds, I would've been in real trouble. I think it's a question of balance, like almost everything else in life. If you depend too much on any one thing, you're bound to be introuble at one time or another.
----- Original Message ----- From: "Mary Emerson" <maryemerson@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Sent: Wednesday, November 02, 2005 7:17 PM
Subject: [bct] Re: descriptive video and a couple other things
In addition to descriptive video, I've always had trouble with NFB's position on pedestrian signals. I need any help I can get if I need to cross a street; being deaf on one side, everything sounds like it's coming out of the sky. I've been knocked down by a milk truck, and once a car knocked me down, and I've come close a few other times, even had my cane run over but fortunately it didn't break so I was ok, but I think common sense and using any tools we can have available is much more sensible than just saying sound signals should be banned completely. In fact, in some places the lights even have vibrations so people with hearing loss can tell when to cross, although if there's a right on red law in effect, it could still be dangerous because that's how the milk truck hit me; I had the light and he was turning right. He was on my deaf side so I had no idea he was there.
I know I'm missing out on all the stereo effects on the podcasts, but I'm thankful to be able to hear what I can with my stereo set to monaural. When I send podcasts up to BCT I use headphones and listen with the left channel on my good side, then turn the headphones around to hear the other channel on my good side so at least I know things are getting sent up with both channels and about the same volume. I hope it sounds reasonably decent.