July 24, 2020
FOR RELEASE: Clovernook Center Collaborates with The New York Times on 30th Anniversary of the ADA Coverage
Clovernook Center is creating digital braille files and embossed braille for New York Times special section on the legacy of the Americans with Disabilities Act
CINCINNATI – July 22, 2020 – Sunday, July 26 marks the 30th anniversary of the landmark Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), which was signed into law on this date in 1990 by President George H.W. Bush. To mark the milestone and take an in-depth look at how it has changed lives for millions of Americans over the last 30 years, The New York Times’ team of editors and writers have produced a series exploring how the ADA has shaped modern life for people with disabilities, including a braille version of the special section, produced by Clovernook Center for the Blind & Visually Impaired at its Braille Printing House.
“The concept for the section started when Peter Catapano, a founding editor of the Opinion section’s Disability series, began approaching other editors at The Times in an effort to widen the coverage of disability issues. I was one of those editors,” said Amisha Padnani, an editor on the obituaries desk and the creator of Overlooked, a series that tells the stories of remarkable people who never got a New York Times obituary. “We talked about doing a special edition of Overlooked, but the anniversary seemed to call for something broader. So, we decided that, in addition to exploring the history of disability, we should explore questions about the present and the future, too.”
The Times will print a special section in the Sunday, July 26 paper with about two dozen articles and essays that look at the ADA’s effects on all facets of daily life in America, including architecture, art, technology, style, music and more. The New York Times approached Clovernook Center’s Braille Printing House to collaborate on a project to transcribe its coverage into braille and make embossed braille copies available to its readers with blindness or a visual impairment, the first time the Times has ever produced such a section.
The ADA is a landmark civil rights law that prohibits discrimination against individuals with disabilities in all areas of public life, including jobs, school, transportation and public and private places that are open to the general public. The ADA’s purpose is to ensure that people with disabilities have the same rights and opportunities as everyone else.
Clovernook Center for the Blind & Visually Impaired, the world’s largest producer of braille, has produced braille versions of all stories included in the publication’s special section. Digital braille files will be available for each story online at the New York Times’ special section, www.nytimes.com/ADA30. In addition, Clovernook Center is transcribing and producing a limited run of braille transcriptions for readers interested in a hard copy. Readers can order copies of the print section in braille via The New York Times store.
“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 who focuses on emerging platforms and technologies. “You’ll see alt text image descriptions for all images. There are also audio versions of every article in this project, some voiced by actors through Audm and some by the authors themselves. We also utilized text-to-speech software from Microsoft and Amazon.”
“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,” Sanchez added.
“Clovernook Center is the largest producer of braille by volume in the world, and we’re extremely proud that 40% of our workforce, and the majority of the employees who work in our Braille Printing House, are blind or visually impaired,” said Chris Faust, president and CEO of Clovernook Center. “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. 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. It’s great to see such a large, national organization like the New York Times recognize the importance of making this special coverage of the 30th anniversary of the ADA accessible for all.”
“For one of the country’s premier newspapers to talk about an issue that is near and dear to the hearts of millions of Americans is very important,” Faust said. “It means validation for people with disabilities and highlights the work that is still to be done to ensure equal access for all Americans. My message to readers of this special section is: Don’t underestimate people with disabilities. When you provide them the right accommodations and resources, you’ll be amazed at what they can achieve. We’re living proof of that.”
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About Clovernook Center for the Blind & Visually Impaired
Since 1903, Clovernook Center for the Blind & Visually Impaired has provided life-enriching opportunities and empowered people who are blind or visually impaired to be self-sufficient and full participants in their communities. Adult programs and youth activities, as well as arts and recreation departments, provide critical services to those who need it. Clovernook Center’s Braille Printing House is the largest volume producer of braille in the world. It produces books, magazines, and other materials for the National Library Services and braille patrons worldwide while providing employment opportunities for individuals who are blind and visually impaired. For more information, visit www.clovernook.org.Back to News