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Introducing NonvisualDevelopment.org

March 19, 2008 • Darrell Shandrow Hilliker

It looks like Jamal Mazrui has an interesting new initiative going for blind
computer programmers. See his public announcement below:

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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