Livable Communities Project– Feedback Needed by March 15

This was forwarded to me today and I think it is both interesting and important to share.


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American Foundation for the Blind | Reader’s Digest Partners for Sight

Livable Communities Project– Feedback Needed by March 15

In 2003, AFB reported on a Livable Communities Project that identified criteria that people who are blind or visually impaired in the United States used to rate livable communities. Through a series of focus groups, interviews, and surveys, AFB developed a list of criteria that participants who were blind or visually impaired recommended to determine the “livability” of a community.
The criteria were as follows:

  • Getting around –availability of public transit, pedestrian-friendliness or "walkability," access to airports, trains, and other intra-city transport (ranked highest)
  • Community integration/general sense of acceptance (sense of tolerance towards diversity)
  • Safety (low crime rates, minimal automobile traffic, few dangerous intersections)
  • Employment (availability of jobs for people who are blind or visually impaired at various skill levels)
  • Education/arts/recreation (formal and informal continuing education, theater and movies with described audio, accessible sports arenas, restaurants with braille menus)
  • Cost of living/housing (affordable homes and apartments)
  • Access to services/necessities of daily living (blindness services, government offices for people with disabilities, medical care, veterinarians, grocery stores, post offices in close proximity).

Using the criteria, 6 cities were chosen:

  • Charlotte, North Carolina
  • Berkeley, California
  • Kalamazoo, Michigan
  • New York, New York
  • La Crosse, Wisconsin and Louisville, Kentucky (tied)

These were the runners-up:

  • Philadelphia, PA
  • Silver Spring, MD
  • Austin, TX
  • Eugene, OR
  • Seattle, WA
  • Boston, MA
  • Santa Monica, CA
  • Urbana, IL
  • Revere, MA

We would like your feedback both on the criteria and the cities that were chosen in 2003. This request is informal just to give us a sense of what is going on in the country. But we do need your feedback quickly– by Tuesday, March 15. Please email progers.

Please respond to the following questions:

  1. Are there additional or different criteria that should be considered?
  2. Do the cities chosen in 2003 still meet the criteria?
  3. If not, what has changed?
  4. Are there other cities that should be considered?

Here is a link to further information on the Livable Communities Project:


Let me know what you think by leaving a reply!