[Accessibility] Update/NFB

Christian Hofstader cdh at gnu.org
Sun Jun 27 05:01:16 PDT 2010

Hi Everyone,

Sorry for the major cross post but the intersection of the sets  of 
these lists is not  complete so I needed to get this to as many people 
as I can as soon as I could get it assembled.

If you are interested in the update on GNU Accessibility, read the top 
part. If you are interested in the NFB convention, search for "NFB" (all 
caps) and you'll land where that part starts. If you are interested in 
all of this, set your screen reader to read to end of document and sit 
back and enjoy this paramountly boring bit of propaganda.

If you would like to join the discussion on GNU Accessibility please 
send an email to accessibility-request at gnu.org with "subscribe" in the 
subject line sans quotes.

First, I'd like to fill you folks in on what I've been doing with the 
GNU Accessibility Initiative over the past four months or so since I 
jumped into this position full time.

First, we have built a team of volunteers who are ready  and willing to 
start hacking for accessibility on GNU/Linux systems. We are trying to 
match people with projects and vice versa as a lot of individuals were 
working in a vacuum or had no idea where to start. Pairing interests to 
real efforts is an activity we can do at no cost but get a lot of value 
for our time.

Second, we have secured funding to operate a school for people with vision impairment in Nepal for one full year. They will be educating 1500 blind students in the English language, computer skills using free software and, for those interested in moving forward, programming and/or IT skills. This school will be the first of its kind in Nepal.

Third, I've entered discussions with some people who want to do a school similar to that in Nepal but in Brazil. They are more than a year behind our Nepalese friends (no business plan yet, they're still debating site selection, etc.) but we hope
to see this ramp up in the next 9 to 12 months.

Fourth, we've started design on the GNU Accessibility web site. This is slow going as we haven't a volunteer with much time to put into this effort yet.

Fifth, we assembled and led an ad hoc group of government agency and non-profit accessibility people to work on public comments for Section 255/508 and submitted our own comments as well. This was a big task and we feel very good that we spread the word about some issues that violate the fundamentals of free software while also breaking accessibility.

Sixth, we have become real good friends with the vinux guys and will be working together on future versions of this excellent distro.

We've a bunch of other irons in the fire but these are the biggies as of right now.

NFB Convention:

I will be at the NFB convention in Dallas for the entire week. We will have some other GNU Accessibility insiders around but we need help leading up to the convention. Specifically:

1. We need someone with an embosser to make about 1000  stickers in braille. We can get the clear plastic sticker pages at Staples and print four per page so it would be 250  pages in total. We can get them cut at any Kinko in the world for a couple of pennies per sheet and, if needed, we can do that part in Dallas as, although it is Texas, there are some signs of civilization - including copy shops.

2. We need to make about 500 CDs with the vinux 3.0.x distro bearing the slogan, "GNU and Vinux, The Accessibility Super Heroes." This quote is a paraphrasing of a print sticker we have that says, "GNU and Linux, The Dynamic Duo," which has pictures of super hero like images on them. There is a company here in St. Petersburg, Florida that does such but tends to have a wait list. If anyone knows of a reasonably priced CD duplication service that's cheap and can get them turned around and to Dallas by July 3, please send me their contact information.

3. Of course, if you will be in Dallas, please look us up. The room is in my name and my primary purpose for being there is to raise awareness of our initiative and meet with a VIP list of folks privately to discuss how we can all work together on software freedom for people with vision impairment. So, if you'd like to get together for coffee or a sandwich or something like that, please write to me off-list and we'll see what we can figure out.

3.1 If you will be at NFB and would like to help out by distributing stickers and CDs, please tell me so we can hook up and get these things out to the masses.

4. If you are going to ACB and want to hand out some of these materials, please write to me and, once we figure out how to get them to you, we can ship a box of stuff to you from our supply.
Happy Hacking,

Christian Hofstader
Director of Access Technology
FSF/Project GNU
http://www.gnu.org, http://www.fsf.org
GNU's Not Unix!

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