Man who is legally blind says the snow presents challenges for all of us, but try walking a mile in his shoes

Published: Feb. 5, 2022 at 10:58 PM EST
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LAKEWOOD, Ohio (WOIO) - Making your way through the snow and ice even after the storm is difficult for all of us.

But imagine having a disability and trying to navigate through all of this to get where you need to go?

Dan Boggs of Lakewood needs the help of his guide dog Mickey because the 36-year-old is legally blind.

But having Mickey as his compass is even more critical when navigating the snow.

“I can only see out of my left eye. In general, outside in the snowy conditions, it makes it hard focusing solely on sidewalks where I can walk at,” Boggs said.

Unshoveled sidewalks and bus stops, like the one at Cove and Clifton in Lakewood, present the biggest and most dangerous obstacles for the disabled man.

“When I go to get on the bus I have to climb over that mound of snow to get onto it. When we’re getting off of it my guide dog and I are walking out into the street, rather than trying to get over the snow because it’s so high. He sees it as a barrier so he wants to go around it,” Boggs said.

But Boggs of Lakewood says the snow issues are not just in the community where he lives, but where he works in the city of Cleveland,

“My biggest fear is somebody not paying attention and zooming by and hitting us,” he said.

He says even a local post office and one local fire station fail the test when it comes to shoveling their sidewalks and safely clearing the way for pedestrians, “I would expect a little better.”

So, what’s the solution?

“I feel like they should be fined or something should be sent out to warn them, and let them know, hey, this needs to be done,” Boggs told 19 News.

Even the Lakewood man’s trusted companion Mickey gets apprehensive about where to go when there’s so much snow.

Boggs feels the snow becomes a true handicap for everyone when streets are the sole priority, “I feel like they also need to look at the standpoint of actual sidewalks and upkeep on that side of things too.”

19 News did reach out to Lakewood’s Mayor.

We’re waiting to hear back about if there is any ordinance that allows the city to take action when sidewalks are not cleared in a timely manner.

The American Disabilities Act says when it comes to snow removal, facilities and walkways must be readily accessible to everyone.

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