The sound of the whistling winds, brisk breeze hitting you so hard that it almost knocks you over, lets a person know that they have arrived in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. It is the land of the ice storms, tornados, and oddly enough, lately earthquakes. For those of you who may not know this, I had the opportunity to attend my freshman year of college in this inimitable city. I always enjoy visiting Oklahoma City. Oklahoma City reminds me of many pleasant moments revolving around some of my family and friends; moments that always bring a smile to my face. With this said, my good friends, Jenny and Curtis, always go out of their way to make my trip extra special. I met them over ten years ago, before the loss of my sight, and they have continued to stick by my side. Upon my arrival to Oklahoma City, Jenny and Curtis prepared one of my favorite meals, took me to visit my favorite ice cream place, then I had a trip down memory lane, while visiting my former school. Jenny and Curtis’ overall amazing descriptive skills, and awareness for the need to verbalize descriptions, resulted in nothing but smiles for all of us.
In addition to the visiting with my family and friends, a highlight of my trip was discovering Oklahoma City’s talking crosswalks, in the downtown area. Talking crosswalks are automated street crossing signals that allow a blind/visually impaired person to know when it is safe to cross. When I pressed the crosswalk button on the pole, if it was safe to cross, the voice would announce the following: name of the street, walk to cross, and then the remaining seconds left to arrive to the other side of the street. When crossing the street, there is another system still counting down the time, allowing a person to know how much time they have left to travel and what direction to go towards. However, if it was not safe to cross, the automated voice would repeatedly announce wait. I was so excited after my experience with the talking crosswalks, that I became giddy, to say the least. LOL. I wish Denver would install this type of system. I believe it would make traveling safer compared to the beeping signals. Well, I hope you enjoyed reading this post as much as I did embarking on the trip.