Re: Leaving List

See you Chris. Thanks for all the posts and participation and sorry to hear you are leaving. I'll check out what you fellows are up to.

Rick USA
----- Original Message ----- From: "Chris Hofstader" <cdh@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
To: <programmingblind@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Sent: Sunday, June 20, 2010 2:56 PM
Subject: Leaving List


Hi Everyone,

I've been on this list for a number of years now. I've learned a lot here and, unfortunately, didn't add much in the way of programming assistance but I think some of my historical input from the inside of the AT industry and why certain decisions were made and why hopefully led to a more complete understanding of these battles than before.

As most, if not all of you, know, I have recently taken on the job of Director of Access Technology for Free Software Foundation/Project GNU. It's a lot of fun building something new from scratch while having a serious and well respected organization at my back. We have a lot of interesting things coming up in the next few months and with the ADA/508/255 refresh round 1 complete (this was a real big project in which a number of non-profits, government agency 508 groups, researchers and free software accessibility initiatives were organized by GNU to work together on the most substantial portions and ensure that we put accessibility above all other concerns) we will have time to dedicate to putting together an accessibility web site and a number of other tasks that we haven't involved ourselves with because of many other less visible but more important projects we have going on.

I haven't been too useful a member of the programming blind list anyway. As Jamal so eloquently pointed out a couple of weeks ago, I over-promise, under-deliver and need him to mop up for my false starts. Fortunately, at GNU, my ideas and those of the others contributing in our accessibility work are assigned to our rapidly increasing group of volunteers. If a bus hit me tomorrow, any number of real accessibility stars from our advisory team (including Jamal) could step up and replace me without much if anything lost in the transfer.

If you, for any reason, want to contact me, you can write directly to my cdh@xxxxxxxxxxxxx or cdh@xxxxxxx mailing addresses. If, for some bizarre purpose, you need to contact me immediately, you can get my phone number from Sina or Ken or any of a number of others on this list.

I would encourage any of you folks to join the GNU Accessibility mailing list (send an email to accessibility-request@xxxxxxx with "subscribe" (sans quotes) in the subject line), we're not moderating this one so you should automatically be added as soon as our server gets your mail. The purpose of this list is, first and foremostly, whatever the membership wants it to be; it will be a pan-disability group so I predict interesting cross-fertilization and I hope people working on lots of different things may be able to talk about and share technology from one project to another. We have already a large number of volunteers involved in the GNU Accessibility Initiative from all over the world working on a huge number of interesting things and, as they join this list, I think that the like minded folks can succeed better as a big team than a bunch of separate fiefdoms.

We are also starting some specialty mailing lists for specific projects. The only one we have launched so far regards free speech recognition software which we hope to launch a project regarding relatively soon. This list today only has two or three members and is totally silent (we are looking for a speech reco nuisance) and we will be inviting people to join and start working pretty soon. The first task is to gather all five or so speech reco programs for GNU/Linux systems and find the one that would work best with orca and other AT while also finding the best recognition engine out there. Then, the task becomes making a version of the software with features to work most comfortably for people with disabilities.

So, please keep in touch with the GNU stuff and say "hi" once in a while.

HH,
cdh
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