To celebrate the 30th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), The New York Times is working with Cincinnati’s Clovernook Center for the Blind & Visually Impaired to produce a braille edition of its July 26 special section.
The ADA was signed into law by George H.W. Bush in 1990 and changed millions of lives by making public spaces more accessible for Americans with disabilities. It prohibits discrimination against individuals with disabilities in all facets of public life, from jobs to schools, transportation and public and private facilities.
The New York Times’ Sunday, July 26 paper will feature about two dozen articles exploring how the ADA has shaped life today for people with disabilities, looking at architecture, art, technology, style, music and more, says a press release.
The Clovernook Center is the world’s largest producer of braille and the paper approached them about a collaboration to translate the section into both digital and physical braille editions. This will mark the first time The New York Times has done a section like this.
“The New York Times wanted to ensure that people of all abilities could explore this section, including improving the experience for people using assistive technology, like screen readers,” said Dan Sanchez, an editor on the Special Projects desk at The New York Times.
Sanchez added that every article for the project has an audio version featuring audio descriptions of images, text-to-speech from Microsoft and Amazon or the voices of actors and the stories’ authors.
“The design of the print section features large type, bold strokes and black-and-white color scheme to reflect the sense of urgency for the goals that the ADA had yet to achieve, as well as to offer high-contrast for those with visual impairments,” he said.
Chris Faust, president and CEO of Clovernook Center, said that 40% of the center’s employees are blind or visually impaired, including the majority of employees working at the Braille Printing House.
“We have earned a reputation for high-quality braille transcription because the end-user of everything we produce here is responsible for the production process,” Faust said. “The New York Times recognized these strengths when they approached us to collaborate on this project with them, and we are thrilled to be a part of this special section.”
Faust praised The New York Times’ decision to offer a braille version of its ADA coverage, saying that it validates people with disabilities while also highlighting the road ahead to equal access for all Americans.
“My message to readers of this special section is: Don’t underestimate people with disabilities,” Faust said. “When you provide them the right accommodations and resources, you’ll be amazed at what they can achieve. We’re living proof of that.”
Learn more about the Clovernook Center for the Blind & Visually Impaired and their Braille Printing House at clovernook.org.