Fred’s Head from APH, a Blindness Blog

Fred’s Head, offered by the American Printing House for the Blind, contains tips, techniques, tutorials, in-depth articles, and resources for and by blind or visually impaired people. Our blog is named after the legendary Fred Gissoni, renowned for answering a seemingly infinite variety of questions on every aspect of blindness.

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Thursday, March 20, 2008

Introducing NonvisualDevelopment.org

Darrell Shandrow at Blind Access Journal posted the following announcement about a new website and I wanted to share it with Fred's Head users as well.

As you know, the web page of EmpowermentZone.com has not been updated for years after I began focusing on software projects. I knew the site needed a redesign, but wanted to work on Windows GUI development, so left it there as a community service for whoever still found it useful, and instead posted direct links to program or documentation files that I added to the site. Inthane, Jeff Bishop, and others gathered some of these links on pages of their sites in order to ease finding them -- collaboration I appreciate.

Last year, I agreed to take over a community project, begun by Chris Hofstader, to develop a C# tutorial for JAWS users. I expanded the scope to any .NET language and any screen reader, naming the project Nonvisual Development with .NET. List members suggested a wiki as a vehicle for collaborating on the tutorial, and for months, Pratik Patel and I have been investigating how best to do this.

Recently, I concluded that the content management system (CMS) called Drupal, available at http://drupal.org has the optimal balance of power and friendliness among free, open source choices of a CMS at this time. I decided to try to achieve multiple objectives in a Drupal-based site that provides a complete directory of programs and documentation I have posted, and promotes collaboration on developing nonvisually with various languages and tools. With encouragement from Jim Homme, webmaster of BlindProgramming.com, I am now introducing a site called Nonvisual Development, located at http://NonvisualDevelopment.org.

The site is under construction, and your collaboration is sought to help make it as valuable a community resource as possible. So far, its design is by me, but its coding is by a blind developer, Chetan Bakhru, whose services I have hired and would recommend to anyone interested in working with PHP, Drupal, or other web technologies. Chetan is the webmaster of http://blind-planet.com.

At present, the content of NonvisualDevelopment.org is primarily either mine or links I have collected. I intend to build ways for other developers to add content and collaborate. We are working within the capabilities and constraints of Drupal 6.1 and the Zen theme. Feedback, suggestions, and other contributions can help move this project forward.

Jamal

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