CONNECTED BUS ROUTE EXPERIENCE: BOSTON ON MONDAY AFTERNOON
I have some really cool stuff I would like to share with everyone who is reading this and it is regarding Aira and the transit system in Massachusetts along with O&M.
For many years, i’ve always enjoyed the opportunity to enhance my traveling experience as a deaf-blind traveler. The better things are, the better my experience becomes.
In the past, I’ve advocated for myself when it came to getting access to orientation and mobility, no longer being lost in a city i grew up in. As a result of my self advocacy, i’ve had the opportunity to work with an amazing O&M instructor in Boston. I’ve applied all of what i’ve learned to my daily traveling in and out of Boston. Now, with my skills after many years, i have the nerve to book flights and visit different states. While there is still room for improvement, i am proud of myself for how far i’ve come.
I gave myself a round of applause after what i did yesterday utilizing my traditional cane skills and working with Aira Agent Shannon. I was able to successfully complete a connected bus route between three MBTA buses without a street crossing! I managed one minor crossing with an APS (audible pedestrian signal) system in Kenmore and that was all for a crossing. I connected three routes from Watertown to Kenmore station, those buses were the 70…66…and the 57 bus. The last time i’d performed such a skilled task was back in Minneapolis, MN during travel. Utilizing those skills i’d worked hard to develop was indefinitely a rewarding feeling.
Aira and the MBTA had partnered together to grant all users free access to their services while using all forms of the MBTA, from that point on, i took full advantage of Aira and the MBTA and used them for what they were designed. I took it upon myself to explore places i had never felt comfortable venturing out to; all thanks to Aira Access on the MBTA and my O&M training in MA and MN. Even during my flights out of state, i’d use my ever lasting cane skills and Aira for efficient navigation.
So, if you are blind and visually impaired, consider working on your O&M skills and using Aira for the enhanced experiences.
Casandra Xavier stands in front of a large Aira logo with a black background and blue logo. She wears a black fedora hat with a reddish black feather. Along with the hat, she wears a French scarf and black pant suit. She stands with a long white cane, gazing in the camera’s direction.