Sunday, May 25, 2008

Sensory trail gives independent access to blind people

Jerry Berrier tries out a Braille sign on the trail.

The Stony Brook Wildlife Sanctuary in Norfolk, Mass., has designed a nature trail for people who are blind or visually impaired. It has a guide rope, informational plaques in Braille and large text signs on its new Sensory Trail, which opens May 29.

The Boston Globe reports that its intent is to give blind people the ability to "experience nature in solitude" like everyone else.

Jerry Berrier, a retired Verizon worker, helped the Massachusetts Audubon Society create the trail's accompanying audio tour, but says as a blind man, he will love the unique opportunity to walk the trail alone and independently.

"I'd like to have time to be by myself a little bit," he said. "I'd like nothing more than Elaine to dump me off at the start of the trail and say, 'OK, see you in half an hour.' "