How does a blind person cross a street?

As a Certified Orientation and Mobility Specialist (COMS), I am often asked how blind students cross the street.  In her blog, Arielle does a wonderful job of describing how she listens to traffic patterns to determine when it is safe to cross at a traffic controlled intersection.

COMS Hint:  Do you have an older student who is learning to cross streets - especially a student who has a progressive visual loss?  Encourage your student to read this blog to learn more about how to cross streets without relying on vision.  For students who are familiar with crossing streets, have your student read the blog and ask if he/she uses the same street crossing clues and ask if he/she uses additional clues.  Some students pay attention to the slight rise of the street (center of the street) and then the slight fall.  Some students who have trouble veering, may need to consciously focus on how they initially line up before crossing the street and/or how they take the first step off the curb.  Opening a discussion about street crossings may help you - the instructor - learn what clues your student prefers and may identify a clue that your student has missed.

This article is an excellent resource for students to share with his/her family, school bus drivers, and friends.  Students should have resources like this available as they learn self-advocacy skills!

Arielle's Disability Wisdom blog, Blind in the City article.