I’d like to wrap up our focus on transit access awareness with a long overdue Buzzer podcast! I met up with Richard Marion, a visually-impaired man, and his guide dog, Bradshaw, last week to try to get an understanding of how someone with little or no vision navigates our transit system. Richard is a member of the Access Transit User Advisory Committee. As part of the Access Transit Strategy that was approved by the TransLink Board in 2007, the User Advisory Committee was formed to advise TransLink on future and current projects to makes sure that they are accessible to everyone.
Richard uses the SkyTrain and bus system regularly with Bradshaw at his side. Watching these two get around is really quite something! For example, when Bradshaw comes to an edge on a SkyTrain platform, Bradshaw stops. If Richard wonders why Bradshaw has stopped, he can feel the tactile edging on the station platform with his feet, which tell him this is the edge and not to go past it. As a sighted person who takes transit almost everyday, I take it for granted getting from A to B. How does a person with a visual impairment know which bus they’re getting on? How do they find the stairs and elevators? To get a detailed idea of how someone like Richard gets around so well on transit, I took a trip with him and Bradshaw on the SkyTrain, bus and Canada Line from Metrotown to Waterfront Station and brought my recorder with me.
To listen to the podcast, press play on the player above, or download the mp3 here. You can also subscribe to our podcast via RSS where this audio file will download straight into iTunes or your RSS reader. You can get all the future Buzzer podcasts by refreshing your subscription.
If you have other ideas for future Buzzer podcasts, let me know!