'A mind-blowing experience'

‘A mind-blowing experience’

A blindfolded Senator at Large Steven Payne is led through the streets of Cruz Bay, St. John, by Annie De La Cruz, a member of his staff. Payne and close to 50 others marched through town Wednesday, alternating between chants of, “We are able! Not disabled!” and “Sidewalks are for walking, not for parking!” in recognition of White Cane Safety Day. “If I wasn’t familiar with the streets, I would have been totally lost,” Payne said of the experience. “I picked up on all the different sounds I never paid attention to before. It was a mind-blowing experience.” Payne said he realized that Cruz Bay sidewalks need to be improved, and said audible beacons at intersections would be helpful in assisting people who are blind to navigate through the town. The event was hosted by the V.I. Association for Independent Living.