By John Horst, President
The Red Rose Council of the Blind meets regularly on the first Monday of each month in Lancaster. All are welcome to join us at the Lancaster House North, located at 335 N. Prince Street. Meetings begin at noon.
We are working with the city of Lancaster on having accessible pedestrian signals (APS) installed at major downtown intersections. This project has been underway for several years, and we are finally making some good progress. Recently two locations have been upgraded with an APS and the city is promising more. Vision Corps, the local branch of the Pennsylvania Association for the Blind, is finally providing cooperation and leadership in this effort. Chris Ament, the agency’s Orientation and Mobility Instructor, has been making real progress with the city. One of the accomplishments of the Red Rose Chapter was to learn to work together on this issue for the benefit of all.
Members of the chapter have also been contacting local restaurants regarding menus in braille or large print. Members of the blind community have been asked to indicate the restaurants they most commonly frequent and these have been given top priority. More have been reported than we have had time to contact so far. We have also encouraged persons with vision loss to ask for these menus. Also we have requested that the restaurants which offer these menus place a sign indicating their availability.
The Red Rose chapter is represented on the local shared ride advisory committee. Some issues we are working to address include: decreasing early pick-ups that occur an hour before the scheduled time, expanding evening and other pick-up times not currently available in outlying areas, and accommodating persons who are blind or have low vision. This last item has led to a consideration of providing training to drivers for best practices.
The Red Rose chapter is active and growing. All are welcome to attend the monthly meetings. We currently have fifteen members. Our officers are: John Horst, Acting President; Scott Stauffer, Vice President; Laura Griffith, Secretary; and Carolyn Dingman, Treasurer.