Blind Activists Fight For Sidewalks

<p>Two blind Missouri women seek to compel their city, state and federal governments to act on the lack of sidewalks.</p>
November 26, 2007, 5am PST | jongalloway
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Visiting with virtually every local leader who might help, two blind Jefferson City women - Maud Campbell and Sindy Puckett - have been pounding the pavement in recent weeks.

Or they would be pounding it, if there were more of it to pound.

"We're out there, we're walking, we're talking to people. We're getting a mostly enthusiastic response," said Campbell.

The two women are on a mission to get local officials to recognize the importance of constructing sidewalks along the city's busiest thoroughfares. And then build them.

Both of the women are blind and rely on dog guides to steer their way around obstacles. Puckett's dog usually will steer her away from traffic. But a cane-traveler can't maneuver in grass. "They depend entirely on that tactile touch and sound," said Puckett.

People who use wheel-chairs don't cope very well with grass or gravel either, Campbell added.

Sometimes, it's not the sidewalk width that is lacking. "A light post is a problem, because you have to go around it," added Campbell.

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Published on Saturday, November 24, 2007 in Jefferson City News Tribune
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