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[Accessibility] Update/NFB

From: Christian Hofstader
Subject: [Accessibility] Update/NFB
Date: Sun, 27 Jun 2010 08:01:16 -0400
User-agent: Mozilla/5.0 (X11; U; Linux i686; en-US; rv: Gecko/20100423 Thunderbird/3.0.4

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 address@hidden 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 

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 

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 

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,
GNU's Not Unix!

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