Thursday, December 23, 2010

Helping People to Get Out of the House

Sometimes, it is the things we don't really notice - unless we have to - that make a big difference to the independence and mobility of a group of people. For the visually impaired, sounds are essential to navigating streets; for the elderly and the infirm, a helping hand of a volunteer is crucial.

After two years of hard work, the American Council for the Blind (ACB) scored a victory for pedestrian safety for anyone who relies on his or her hearing to completely or partially navigate the crossing of streets.

The House [has] passed S. 841, the Pedestrian Safety Enhancement Act, legislation that will provide blind, visually impaired, and other pedestrians greater security when traveling in close proximity to hybrid or electric vehicles. The legislation passed the Senate on December 9. It now goes to the President for his signature.
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The legislation will require the U.S. Department of Transportation to begin writing standards that would set requirements for an alert sound that allows blind and other pedestrians to reasonably detect a nearby electric or hybrid vehicle. It also requires that those rules be finalized within three years.

Volunteer Engagement

The National Association of Area Agencies on Aging (N4A), in collaboration with the National Association of States United for Aging and Disabilities (NASUAD), AARP, and the Administration on Aging, among others, has created a technical resource center for the aging network to engage and train volunteers and provide technical assistance for volunteers and volunteer coordinators. More details can be found in the N4A press release.

Volunteer drivers are an important component of both senior and non-emergency medical transportation. Visit the relevant pages of the Community Transportation Association of America website.

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