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AFBAmerican Foundation®
for the Blind

Expanding possibilities for people with vision loss

What options are out there for the blind and visually impaired in regards to transportation?

Being visually impaired, I cannot drive and miss out on living my life to the fullest since I'm home almost all the time.

I'm an animal lover, so I try to make the most of it through self employment as a dog walker and pet sitter. At least by doing this, I'm able to have some income and can handle walking around my own neighborhood. I'm also very lucky to live close to a commercial area in town so I can walk to stores as I need to. (I'm actually training one of my dogs to be a guide for me to make this easier and safer for me).

However, my options for employment are significantly limited because I can't even consider working anywhere that's not within walking distance. I could seek employment at a store or business that's close by to me, but none are relevant to my passion and goal to work with animals. I don't want to settle for meaningless employment just to get a paycheck. I want to do something I know I love.

In the absence of public transportation, I have no means of getting anywhere when my husband isn't home. He works long hours and isn't home enough to drive me to a job.

There are plenty of options for self employment from home that involve animals, which I'm willing to do in the future. However, I'd really like the opportunity to branch out and get some more experience out in the world.

Are there any options out there for the visually impaired to get reliable transportation to and from work or must I remain dependent on family and friends?

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Re:What options are out there for the blind and visually impaired in regards to transportation?



I really empathize with you in more then one aspect of your message. I live in a small town and there is only one taxi in town, no city transit vans or buses. I don't mean to sound unthankful because of our economy, but I work as a people greeter at Walmart in the garden center and I HATE it. It is the most boring job a person could have; standing outside in the cold of winter and the blazing heat of summer, not allowed to sit down except on breaks and lunch. I also love animals and would love to find a job working with animals like you mentioned. I am very unfulfilled and unappreciated at Walmart. I don't think I've accomplished anything in my life by wasting the past four yrs working there. I would love to have a dog training business out of my backyard but there's no guarentee that I would get enough clients to equal what I'm making at Walmart to supplement my disability check to pay my mortgage and bills. It's very hard having to rely on friends and family for transportation when most of the time if I could, I would rather just go by myself and not have to explain my business to other people who take me where I am going.


Re:What options are out there for the blind and visually impaired in regards to transportation?



I really empathize with you in more then one aspect of your message. I live in a small town and there is only one taxi in town, no city transit vans or buses. I don't mean to sound unthankful because of our economy, but I work as a people greeter at Walmart in the garden center and I HATE it. It is the most boring job a person could have; standing outside in the cold of winter and the blazing heat of summer, not allowed to sit down except on breaks and lunch. I also love animals and would love to find a job working with animals like you mentioned. I am very unfulfilled and unappreciated at Walmart. I don't think I've accomplished anything in my life by wasting the past four yrs working there. I would love to have a dog training business out of my backyard but there's no guarentee that I would get enough clients to equal what I'm making at Walmart to supplement my disability check to pay my mortgage and bills. It's very hard having to rely on friends and family for transportation when most of the time if I could, I would rather just go by myself and not have to explain my business to other people who take me where I am going.


Re:What options are out there for the blind and visually impaired in regards to transportation?



Hello there! I am new in this site, barely 24 hours old, and I am glad I finally found this site.

I may not be answering the question posted in here, but in relation to this topic, I just want to share that in Japan, specifically in Hokkaido, a blind person can freely walk around because there are landmarks that provide the names of streets and/or intersections written in Braille, and when crossing a street there is a certain kind of bell/sound that tells whether the traffic lights say 'STOP, READY, or GO.' Also, in the sidewalks, a special path is provided with certain designs to tell the walking blind person thru the senses of his/her feet that an intersection is up ahead, or that is just straight walk ahead. I found it very helpful and very necessary for their mainstreaming. I found it too in Guangzhou, China and in major cities of Denmark.

I have been doing my share of walking miles and miles in Manhattan but so far I haven't come across such amenities. I bet alot would benefit from it.

lenne


Re:What options are out there for the blind and visually impaired in regards to transportation?



I work with a local transportation Commission on transportation issues for disabled folks including blind (am blind myself).

You said a lack of public transit. Is this because you don't take it or there is none. If there is some in your area and in relative short walking distance, I would look into that. Also find out about para transit or dial a ride through the bus company. The ada requires bus companies to have such para transit services.
You could also look into share rides or car pooling options.
You could also possibly see if you have a couple friends who could drive you to the nearest public transit too if it is a little further.

I'm really knowledgable and have a lot of resources on this so feel free to post and ask if you have more questions and I will help.

Aiming Big


Re:What options are out there for the blind and visually impaired in regards to transportation?



Try to see if your local transit station has a rides, paratransit or something along those lines. I know California has those programs, they are not the best, sometimes you have to call a day in advance to set up a ride but it gets you out.
Mimi


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