Billie Louise (Beezy) Bentzen, Ph.D.

Billie Louise (Beezy) Bentzen, Ph.D., Certified Orientation and Mobility Specialist taught people who are visually impaired to travel independently for more than 30 years. Since 1980 she has carried out an extensive program of research in the Department of Psychology, Boston College, and through her company, Accessible Design for the Blind, on ways to improve environmental access for people who are visually impaired including such means as large print, tactile, and electronic signs, audible signs, tactile maps, accessible pedestrian signals, visual contrast, and detectable warnings. She has prepared syntheses on Detectable Warnings & Accessible Pedestrian Signals for the U.S. Access Board, and has done, and is continuing to do sponsored research on both topics.

Dr. Bentzen has also traveled widely and consulted with engineers in countries such as Sweden, Denmark, Japan and Australia that have lengthy histories of making public rights-of-way accessible to people with visual impairments.

She is a member of the Signals Technical Committee of the National Committee on Uniform Traffic Control Devices, and is a member of the American National Standards Institute A117 Committee on Accessible and Usable Buildings and Facilities.

Janet M. Barlow

Janet M. Barlow is a certified Orientation and Mobility Specialist and has been involved in teaching independent travel skills to individuals who are blind or visually impaired for over 25 years. Since 1992, she has been involved in the issues of access, particularly the effects of intersection design and traffic signal actuation on the independent travel of blind or visually impaired pedestrians, and is a nationally known expert on that subject. Serving as chair of MARTA's Elderly and Disabled Access Advisory Committee during the development of their ADA compliance plan in 1991 and 1992 provided experience in the details of implementing ADA guidelines and meeting the needs of individuals with a variety of disabilities. She served on the US Access Board's Public Rights-of-Way Access Advisory Committee (PROWAAC) and was the chair of the subcommittee that developed Special Report: Accessible Public Rights-of-Way, Planning and Designing for Alterations, a technical assistance manual to provide guidance in implementation of the recommendations of the committee in alterations situations. The PROWAAC committee was a diverse group of engineers, designers, and advocates for persons with disabilities that has developed recommendations for the public rights-of-way. The work with this committee uniquely prepared her to present accessibility information related to the design of pedestrian facilities to a diverse audience.

Janet is currently involved in research as a member of the teams of the National Eye Institute project, Blind Pedestrians’ Access to Complex Intersections, NCHRP Project 3-62, Guidelines for Accessible Pedestrian Signals, NCHRP 3-78, Crossing Solutions at Roundabouts and Channelized Turn Lanes for Pedestrians with Vision Disabilities, NCHRP 15-35, Geometric Design of Driveways, and NCHRP 3-89, Design Guidance for Channelized Right-turn Lanes. She has also been involved in developing and teaching courses on pedestrian accessibility and application of the ADA to the public rights-of-way for the Institute of Transportation Engineers, the Association of Pedestrian and Bicycle Professionals, the Federal Highway Administration, and others.  She has given numerous presentations on access issues to groups ranging from the American Council of the Blind to the Transportation Research Board and has consulted with several municipalities on access issues.  Janet is chair of the Environmental Access Committee of the Orientation and Mobility Division of the Association for Education and Rehabilitation for the Blind and Visually Impaired (AER).



Accessible Pedestrian Signals

Detectable Warnings

Temporary Traffic Control