Here at AYES, we are passionate about transportation being accessible, whether that is as a pedestrian (and using our app OKO!) or using other types of transportation. With the holidays coming up, we are sharing some key transportation tips for the blind and visually impaired. There are a few things we can do as blind and visually impaired travelers that can make the process easier.
We’ve talked about planning ahead in other posts, but it is just as important to mention here. Planning ahead is crucial when it comes to travel, especially as someone who is blind or visually impaired. Planning ahead can look a lot of different ways depending on your needs. It might look like planning your public transportation route before you leave or even scheduling your ride share ahead of time. Planning ahead can lessen anxiety and give you more peace of mind when using different transportation avenues.
As someone who is blind or visually impaired, other aspects of preparation also become a big part of utilizing transportation options. Preparation could include steps like making sure your phone is fully charged and you have a portable charger with you. Preparation could also include researching the different types of transportation in your area. Cities in the United States often have discounts for blind users to utilize transportation services.
Don’t be afraid to ask for help
As much as we can be prepared and plan ahead, we will still run into roadblocks when it comes to transportation. There might be a closed sidewalk or there might not even be a sidewalk at all! If you are stuck or lost, don’t be afraid to ask for help! It’s in people’s nature to want to help others. But it is also okay to let people know how you need help. For example, someone might think it is helpful to guide you by grabbing your hand, but it is okay to let them know you prefer to be guided holding onto their arm.
Asking for help when it comes to utilizing transportation could also include bringing a friend or family member along on your route. This can be helpful to learn a new route or help you navigate unfamiliar situations. You also want to make sure you take advantage of Orientation and Mobility Services as they can help you navigate in a variety of settings!
At AYES, we are passionate about keeping the blind and visually impaired safe when it comes to crossing the street. But keeping yourself safe on transportation can be important in so many different ways. One way to stay safe is to be aware of your surroundings. As pedestrians, and especially as blind or visually impaired pedestrians, we can be seen as targets. It’s imperative to be aware of what is going on around you auditorily. Be sure to look out on our blog as we will be sharing a blog post fully about keeping yourself safe as a pedestrian in the coming weeks.
Do you have any specific transportation tips for the blind you utilize? Let us know in the comments!
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