Monday, October 13, 2008

Reply from CNIB Limits Ability to Access Transit Maps

When serving on an Accessibility Advisory Committee, I asked the following questions related to Transit:

1. Why are the maps in the bus shelter mounted so high and,
2. How is the route information printed on the bus maps conveyed to people who have low vision or are blind?

The answer to the first question about lowering the maps was that they would be too hard to see by the majority; the people who are standing. They said that there have been no complaints. Apparently I am the only one who reported the problem.

I find this funny because I once took a video clip of an able-bodied person standing on the bench so they could see the map through their bifocals. I had permission to take the video but I'm not willing to embarrass the city.

The second question was more or less a loaded question because after consulting with people I knew who were blind or had low vision and were in need of accommodation, I came up with an idea. I would read the bus maps into an audio file and type it into a textual file. I would then give it to transit so they could upload it for free to their web site. This would provide equal accommodation to all who went to the web site to read the map.

Well, my offer was turned down because the CNIB did not identify it was a problem. Transit then added that the CNIB offers travel training, so the travel training is considered adequate enough.

To date, transit does not have their audible announcement system installed even though there was a press release issued June 17, 2008 that promised all would be in place by the end of September. See the following link:

FYI the CNIB is only open one day a week due to budgetary cutbacks, so I highly doubt there is enough time to provide the necessary travel training.

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