7 On Your Side gets Braille signs returned to building

EAST VILLAGE, Manhattan (WABC) -- A Manhattan building for veterans and people who are hearing and sight-impaired went through renovations, but did not put Braille signs back up.

One long-time resident contacted 7 On Your Side for help.

For Tyrone Jackson, who is blind, finding his floor is a struggle.

"This is where the Braille should be," he said as he felt his way next to the metal plaque displaying the number 8 in the stairwell on his floor.

Jackson says about a month ago the Braille floor number signs, allowing residents with sight issues to read with their fingertips, were removed during renovations.

The East Village building called Tanya Towers is home to hundreds who are blind, deaf, veterans and other adults with disabilities.

"I like to walk up and down to exercise my legs..sometimes I get off on 5th sometimes 6th, so I need to know where I'm at before I come out," said Jackson, walking in the stairwells with his seeing eye dog, Zoe.

Jackson lost his sight when he fell and hit his head in first grade. He's lived in this building for decades - relying on the Braille signs to help him find his floor when he walks and doesn't take the elevator.
But when they disappeared about a month ago his world, which already lacks the ability of sight, is now robbed of the chance to read with his fingers too. "Of course i'm upset!," he told 7 On Your Side as his wife served his afternoon tea.

"I can count the steps but that's not the point, they should have Braille there," he said, adding that his attempts to get the signs to reappear went nowhere.

He complained to management but says no one ever responded. So he contacted 7 On Your Side and we got in touch with both management and New York City Housing Preservation and Development, which supervises the building.
Within days the Braille was back, installed on every stairwell exit.

"Thank you for getting this done, I feel very good and thank you 7 On Your Side," said Jackson.

A representative for Housing Preservation and Development said after construction, building management mistakenly failed to put up new Braille stairwell signs.

HPD looked into the error and had corrected it within a few days, vowing to conduct a thorough review of all other signage in the building.


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