Safer Streets in Fulton

1 decade 1 year 9 months ago Wednesday, January 17 2007 Jan 17, 2007 Wednesday, January 17, 2007 3:49:40 PM CST January 17, 2007 in News

This type of system is a first in mid-Missouri, and that might be interesting enough, but wait till you meet two of the people who helped make it a reality.

Doug Stretch is known simply as Mr. Stretch to the students at Fulton middle school. His office space used to be a restroom and has been cut in half. It's a very small space, but the work he does here isn't.

"I saw a lady trying to get across there, pushing a stroller one time, and the light never changed, never changed, so she just took off and was able and some of the cars would slow down then and honked and so forth," said Doug.

Doug's interest in making crosswalks safer for the blind has nothing to do with him.

He's not blind. He transcribes textbooks and assignments into braille for 7th grader Quinn Cole.

Quinn almost got hit once at the busy intersection just a block from his school.

"Well, where the traffic was going, where the traffic on the side of me was going," explained Quinn "So I started crossing and the truck just pulled up."

Quinn hasn't always been blind.

"Well in second grade, they do, every school year the schools do an annual visual exam through the nurses' station," said Quinn's mom Melinda Cole. "They noticed that Quinn had a slight problem." 

That problem was a tumor, which after treated, left him legally blind.

But that hasn't stopped him from playing football for the Hornets.

Or from getting high marks in class.

But it's given him a chance, with Mr. Stretch's help, to be an advocate for others.

He's even made his own walk to school a little safer.

Quinn and Doug met about four years ago. Before working with Quinn, Doug says he didn't know braille and has been learning right along side his student.

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