Monday, October 17, 2005

BLIND AND VISUALLY IMPAIRED

On the occasion of White Cane Day, blind and visually impaired students staged a protest rally asking improvements by the state in providing services for them. 1:  Vocal announcements at trolley bus and blue bus stops 2:  Sound signals at traffic lights 3:  More frequent patrolling of ramps and special parking spaces 4:  An office, servicing people with special needs in the Athens  Airport, KTEL Bus Stations and the Suburban Railway in Larissa Station 5:  The Greek Parliament to recognise Braille Being a pedestrian in Athens is difficult at best (and life-threatening most of the time). I cannot even begin to imagine what it must be like for the blind or visually impaired. As I walked  to pick up the kid today (who cannot walk alone to school for the same reasons I list below even though he's nine) I kept a little mental note of the obstacles I came across. Three major road junctions with no traffic lights of any kind. No pedestrian crossing even at the school! A zebra crossing with no signage that everyone ignores. Major road-works (natural gas) with no provision or barriers for pedestrians . At least four places where the pavement is completely blocked by trees, rubbish bins and parked cars (and one bit that doesn't actually have a pavement.) Countless bushes, trees etc with branches hanging in the pavement usually at face level. Piles of dog shit, debris, rotting food, unidentifiable fluids and even dead animals every three or four steps. I take the same route everyday. Not because I like the routine but because I find this one the safest. I wouldn't dream of letting him do it alone.

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At 10/17/2005 05:40:00 PM, Blogger Eff said...

I agree with the list, but how likely is it that braille will be added? Presumably that entails the writing of government documents in paper, and I don't know what the cost of that would be.

 
At 10/17/2005 05:40:00 PM, Blogger Eff said...

*in braille, sorry.

 
At 10/17/2005 07:07:00 PM, Blogger deviousdiva said...

While I was google searching for braille greece I came across a piece about the Paralympics 2004. They had a brilliant new technology called a Braille printer/embosser at the olympic village. Not only could it turn almost any document into braille it could also be used to "read" internet websites and enlarge texts for visually impaired.

I am sure it would be expensive to buy one but in this country, where there is hardly any provision for people with disabilities at all, I would imagine at least one of these could be bought.

 
At 10/17/2005 09:04:00 PM, Blogger melusina said...

Yes, unfortunately this is yet another area Greece lags way behind, although I didn't see Italy or even Holland being very "disabled friendly" when I was there a couple of years ago. I've heard that it is a problem throughout Europe actually, for people with all kinds of disabilities.

Some of these things that they can do for the blind are standard issue things in America, it seems pretty stupid not to have them everywhere. But geez, I don't see how a blind person could get around Athens...that city is so NOT pedestrian friendly.

 

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