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How the blind can read this
This story, including photo captions, has been specially designed for OCRs — optical character recognition readers — that many low-vision people use to read printed material.
We've specially coded all the stories so that text-to-speech software can also read the story, including a description of the photos and graphics.
And to accommodate readers who may not have adequate software, we have provided an audio version of this story, including descriptions of the hazards, online.
We have designed a map of the major hazards for the sight-impaired, and even people in wheelchairs or who have other mobility issues. Since the hazards are so intermittent — a sidewalk is closed today, but could reopen tomorrow — we have a web version of this map that can be crowdsourced. Notice a hazard? Plot it on the map with a description.
We have also included information for people who want to learn more about issues facing the blind. This includes links to free and cheap technologies for desktop computers, smart phones and tablets.
We hope that this story will gently remind people to think twice before placing a sandwich board or parking an Organic Transit ELF in the middle of the sidewalk.