Getting assistance to gather information for assessing crossings
Deaf-blind people can assess crossing situations by asking a trusted friend, family member, SSP (Special Support Person) or instructor to give them information about the situation such as:
how wide is the street or driveway to be crossed, is there a divider or island somewhere in the crossing, how many lanes of traffic are going each way, are there any bike lanes, etc.;
what the traffic is like (how many vehicles, how fast are they going, etc.);
Effective ways to convey this information are:
the deaf-blind person puts his hand on that of the assistant who points to the vehicles as they pass, indicating how fast they are moving.
set up a signal such as having the assistant move a finger across the deaf-blind person’s back to indicate movement of the vehicles and their speed – this can be done while the deaf-blind person walks along the sidewalk and explores the area.
visibility of the deaf-blind person to the drivers – is there anything blocking the view, or glaring lights?
whether drivers yield consistently when pedestrians with white cane or dog guide indicate they want to cross there (click here for an experiment to help answer this question);
presence of pedestrians passing by and/or crossing and their characteristics, such as whether there are children or families, whether people appear to be rushed, the presence of bus stops or loitering groups of people and what they are doing, what kind of clothes are they wearing (business or casual), etc.
It is important that the deaf-blind person assess the situation at different times of the day and week and year, and find out if anything predictable drastically changes the situation, such as changes in traffic caused by people leaving or entering schools, stadiums, factories, hospitals, etc.