[tabi] Re: Local Volunteer Has Braille Added to Bus Stops

  • From: "Blackburn, Douglas" <dblackburn@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: "tabi@xxxxxxxxxxxxx" <tabi@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Mon, 28 Oct 2013 07:02:56 -0400

It was well deserved for John and, the way John was showcased today was much 
more prominent than had it been woven into the annual Dining in the Dark story. 
Kudos to John for his efforts. Now, if I could only FIND the bus stops.

From: tabi-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx [mailto:tabi-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx] On Behalf Of 
Chip and Allie Orange
Sent: Monday, October 28, 2013 7:00 AM
To: tabi@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
Subject: [tabi] Local Volunteer Has Braille Added to Bus Stops

From today's Democrat:
(thanks Doug for making this happen)

Local volunteer has Braille added to bus stops

Volunteer helps StarMetro stops become accessible
Oct. 27, 2013 11:36 PM

John Plescow was given the Paula Bailey Award by Lighthouse of the Big Bend for 
a deal with StarMetro to have braille plaques installed on bus stops.
John Plescow was given the Paula Bailey Award by Lighthouse of the Big Bend for 
a deal with StarMetro to have braille plaques installed on bus stops.  /  
to Democrat
Written by
Arek Sarkissian II
Democrat staff writer
Filed Under
TLH Local
TLH Local Volunteerism
Four years ago, StarMetro announced a plan to do away with its hub-and-spoke 
system in favor of  a decentralized network using 40 stops as transfer points.
The move would make  Tallahassee's bus system more efficient and perhaps 
its reliance on  the city budget. But the plan included nothing for members of 
visually-impaired community who rely on Braille signage to keep up with bus 
John Plescow found no use for StarMetro's new system, which went online in July 
and at the suggestion of his fellows in the blind community, he volunteered his 
to make a difference.
"It served me much better the old way," Plescow said. "They really opened up 
Box with the new system. It was much more difficult to navigate."
Plescow brought in the help of Lighthouse of the Big Bend, Ability1st and the 
to find a roughly $24,000 federal grant to purchase and install Braille plates 
bus stops across the system so blind people can determine route numbers and a 
code for schedules.
Plescow's work earned him the Paula Bailey Inspirational Award at the Lighthouse
Dining in the Dark event on Oct. 13. The award is given  to people who inspire 
are visually impaired and are residents of the 11 Big Bend counties the 
City transit planning manager Brian Waterman said the StarMetro C.K. Plaza was 
as the main transfer point in the former route system and was outfitted with 
placards to meet federal Americans with Disabilities Act standards. The 
system turned former stops into transfer points and the ADA did not require them
to have signage for the visually impaired, Waterman said.
"Braille is not common at bus stops," Waterman said. "You have to do it so it's 
and also, bus stops are prone to damage or being removed."
Plescow said he was determined to come up with a solution and found former 
city manager Jay Townsend willing to help.
"It sort of became my second job," Plescow said. "But it was something that 
doing and it was a distraction from everything else."
Plescow said the signs have been ordered and should be installed in the next six
months. He applauded the city's initiative to make StarMetro the first public 
system to equip all stops with Braille signage.
"Everyone likes to be recognized and told, 'hey you're doing something good,' " 
said. "But the true reward is that there is going to be Braille at every bus 
That is a plum for Tallahassee and a very positive thing."

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