The Yellow Sign – Part 2

The Public OffenderHello again. Here I am, intrepid rabble-rouser, with a yellow sign update.

First, a huge thank you to all of you who posted comments regarding this bizarre situation. If you didn’t have a chance to review them all, please feel free to do so now (see below). One particularly creative comment was inadvertently posted to my “By Way of Introduction” entry; it has now been put in its proper place (which can — and should – never be said about its author!). So if you missed Pat’s anarchic solution, feel free to check it out.

Second, Michael and I have decided to fight this intrusion on our civil rights.

Third, here’s what has happened so far:

I called the office of our Town Supervisor, which referred me to the Traffic Department.

I called the Traffic Department, which referred me to the Town Attorney’s office, but not before telling me that I was not entitled to know who requested that the sign be installed, and not before presuming that the sign was on my property (why else would one want it removed?), and not before voicing bewilderment that a blind person would object to a sign so clearly for his benefit.

I called the Town Attorney’s office, which confirmed that I was not entitled to know who requested the sign and told me to mail a written request explaining why we objected to it.

I called the National Federation of the Blind (NFB), whose legal advisor suggested I cite the ADA provision in title 5, section 501(d):

“Nothing in this Act shall be construed to require an individual with a disability to accept an accommodation, aid, service, opportunity, or benefit which such individual chooses not to accept.”

More to follow.

3 thoughts on “The Yellow Sign – Part 2

  1. Sounds like a problem to me. Man if they put a sign on my street like “gimp in area”, with no parking under it, or something of that nature, I would continuously be mortified. Did you ever figure out who had it put up? Sounds like the only solution is to use that section in the ADA about nothing says you have to accept the accomodation. Get a politition who is looking for publicity, that would probably include all of them, just choose one, call the press and have them do a story with the phony polition, you and your husband and the sign. Headline ‘BLIND REJECT SIGN’. If all else fails, you will have to move, preferably to a big area with apartment buildings all around.

  2. I can answer the last question on your list, with regard to why the sign was yellow. The color and shape of signs convey a message, with yellow used for all warning signs, which basically mean “unusual situation ahead… be especially alert… use caution”. (Incidentally, some sign shapes are unique – the octagonal STOP sign and round RR crossing sign allow drivers to “read” the shape of those important signs even if they’re approaching from the opposite direction and can’t read the words. True, I haven’t driven in 15 years, but I remember studying that to get the drivers permit.) http://www.cyberdriveillinois.com/publications/rules_of_the_road/rr_chap07.html

    I can understand your ambivalence about this in your first post, and I also feel somewhat unsure about how I would react. Would I mind a sign in Fairway saying “Fat Woman Area. Careful in the ice cream aisle.”

    I do think that one thing is certain, though, knowing you, your neighbors, and your neighborhood: There’s no way that this could have been malicious or an attempt to stigmatize. The possibilities I can imagine are that either someone who knows Michael felt this would be helpful and a “mitzvah” or that someone driving nearby felt that a warning sign was necessary, either because they felt that they had narrowly missed hitting Michael, or because they had seen someone else driving there in a way that looked potentially dangerous. Although it may be intended to benefit to Michael, it also is meant to benefit drivers. It does seem somewhat amusing, though, since Michael walks down that short segment of road every day, but the fraction of any day that he spends walking along that road is miniscule, and there’s not that much traffic there anyway.

    Another approach might be to call the Traffic Department and thank them profusely for the much needed sign, and then explain your other needs. Have them add a mirror. Have them add the traffic light at the other end. Then, when you’ve got everything you want, tell them that the original sign wasn’t working out so well after all, so maybe they can remove it…?

  3. Yet another nifty suggestion landed in my inbox last night:

    >What if they changed the i to an o? Knowing the reputation blonds have, would people drive more cautiously?

    My cousins had neighbors (in Sharon, Mass.) whose daughter was deaf and there was a “Deaf Child” sign on the road for years, long after the family moved away. Howsoever you decide to tackle this, good luck!

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