[nfb-talk] Need Advice: Transit District Schedule Accessibility

Lloyd Rasmussen lras at sprynet.com
Wed Sep 9 01:18:32 UTC 2009

I think you are in a fairly small community.  Washington Metro 
has a trip planner on the web which is accessible, and the same system feeds
a telephone-based voice in/voice out system that helps you plan routes at
specified times.  Getting info about specific stops is probably best handled
by humans during the hours they are on duty, provided that they have been
given some detailed maps and a little training.

In a moderate-sized community, the web-based table approach Yasmin mentioned
for Montgomery County Ride-On is probably the best option.  

At Services for the Visually Impaired, the agency Judy used to run, we set
up an elaborate system for getting the Washington Metro's database output
into the Duxbury Braille translator, transposing rows and columns.  So for
each major stop, we gave a list of the times that a bus passed that stop in
a given direction.  We could emboss braille bus schedules on demand.  There
never was that much demand for our braille schedules, so the service is no
longer offered.  It was an interesting project while it lasted, and it cost
about $1,500 of a programmer's time to develop it.

Lloyd Rasmussen, Kensington, Maryland
Home:  http://lras.home.sprynet.com
Work:  http://www.loc.gov/nls

> -----Original Message-----
> From: nfb-talk-bounces at nfbnet.org [mailto:nfb-talk-bounces at nfbnet.org] On
> Behalf Of Tina Hansen
> Sent: Tuesday, September 08, 2009 2:29 AM
> To: nfb-talk at nfbnet.org
> Subject: [nfb-talk] Need Advice: Transit District Schedule Accessibility
> In my area, our transit system has undergone a massive redesign, the first
> in 30 years. With this comes new schedules. Unfortunately, the web-based
> schedules are in PDF format only. While I know that there have been
> attempts to make these documents accessible, it's not always easy. There
> are also maps of the new routes, and those are not easy for screen readers
> to cope with.
> Given this issue, I'd like to hear what others have done or are doing to
> ensure that these transit schedules are accessible. I have thought about
> Braille and/or audio schedules, and I'd love to work with the transit
> district, but I don't know where to begin. I have also thought about the
> Customer Service line, but that only works when the center is open; it
> doesn't work after hours. What about automated schedule phone lines?
> Given what's happening, does anyone out there have any suggestions on how
> I can work with the transit district to guide them in offering truly
> accessible bus schedules? What can I do to help them offer good
> descriptions of  where the routes stop? If you've done something with your
> local transit district, what did you come up with? If you have any
> suggestions, I'd be interested in hearing them. Thanks.
> _______________________________________________

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