FORT WORTH (CBSDFW.COM) – Paul Tocco just moved to Texas from Michigan. As he is learning to adjust to a new neighborhood, he is also learning to live without his vision.
Paul is a cancer survivor and had endured 34 surgeries, chemotherapy and radiation in his short life.
“He just lost it 2.5 years ago. He needs to develop those skills. His spidey senses as I call them. Learning to listen for the breaks,” said his mother Esther Tocco.
Esther called Fort Worth transportation and public works to ask the city to install a sign that reads “Blind Child.” The family had one like that one installed in their Michigan neighborhood.
“The response was. ‘Unfortunately, Ms. Tocco, the deaf signs or blind child signs are signs the city of Fort Worth does not recognize.’”
You may have seen signs like this in your area, but the city tells CBS 11, it makes every attempt not to put them up because it believes the signs are ineffective and may give children a false sense of safety.
“It’s just disheartening. I’d like him to go out there independently and do things like all the other children do, knowing that cars would slow down for him,” said Esther.
The city tells CBS 11, unlike other warning signs, these don’t give drivers any specific directions like slow down or stop. It’s a practice it says is in compliance with federal and state laws.
The Lighthouse for The Blind of Fort Worth CEO Platt Allen says these signs can actually hinder independence.
“Not certain we’ve put up a sign that says a person with blond hair lives here or a person who’s very skinny lives here,” said Allen.
Paul says he wants the sign on his block.
“I’d like to walk my dog and meet new people,” he said.