Deaf and blind residents calling for change in Talladega

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By Andrew Donley, ABC 3340

Deaf and blind residents in Talladega, a city that houses the largest deaf and blind community in the state, are calling for change.

“As I’ve gotten older and been able to call Talladega my home and notice things that Talladega has lacked in the ability to accommodate its residents,” said Kaleigh Gable.

Gable, a senior at the Alabama School for the Blind, along with other deaf and blind members of the Talladega community are fighting to be seen and heard, after losing a non profit ride service in December.

An issue, many say isolates them from the rest of the community.

Curtis Holman, says now the community has to rely on two city vans that are primarily designated for the elderly, making it a battle for nearly 2000 non-drivers in the city to get a spot on the vans that only run during business hours Monday through Friday.

Without transportation, it’s the simple things Holman says his community struggles with.

“Grocery shopping, going out to eat. Just being able to spend our money to do taxes for the city is hard for us to do,” said Holman.

While this isn’t the only issue the deaf and blind are dealing with in Talladega, Rod Skene with Alabmaa Council for the Blind says it’s one that could be life changing.

“In a perfect world we want everyone in town whether you’re blind or not to easily move throughout the city, be able to get to work to get to school, we’re an education town. To get to medical appointments and most of all patronize our local businesses and that’s what our end goal is,” said Skene.

And thanks to their collective voice and the city council, they’re closer to that goal.

City council members say they plan to allocate left over funds towards transportation and sidewalk improvement projects.

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