Randal Resseguie (June 9) writes about the “bumpy bricks” built in to our community curb ramps. Those are cane detection surfaces to assist people who are blind or visually impaired to use the sidewalk.
I believe that cane detection is required for minimum compliance with the 1990 Americans with Disabilities Act, but more than that those bumps represent people with disabilities being involved and part of our community. Since the ADA, people with disabilities have more and more become a typical part of our daily life rather than being locked away in institutions or trapped in their home by insignificant barriers. The focus of the letter was some vague cost savings by doing away with cane detection; however the cost of segregation and isolation are immeasurable compared to the simple idea of inclusion.
But more directly, it would be a shame to slow the progress of inclusion by diverting funding for basic access to our community to chip seal Mr. Resseguie’s street. Blind and visually impaired neighbors are not generally tearing up the streets with their cars. Having accessible walking paths are much less expensive and more valuable for our community than accommodating citizens who have become dependent on vehicles.