From Usenet Big-8 Management Board
From: Henrietta K Thomas <hkt(at)xnet DOT com> Subject: RFD: soc.support.vision-impaired (Was: RFD - misc.handicap.vision-impaired) Newsgroups: news.announce.newgroups, news.groups, sci.med.vision, alt.comp.blind-users, alt.disability.blind.social Followup-To: news.groups Date: Sat, 03 Jun 2006 12:10:09 -0700 REQUEST FOR DISCUSSION (RFD) unmoderated group soc.support.vision-impaired This is a formal Request for Discussion (RFD) for the creation of a world-wide unmoderated newsgroup soc.support.vision-impaired. This RFD supersedes the RFD for misc.handicap.vision-impaired, which has been withdrawn. NEWSGROUPS LINE: soc.support.vision-impaired Living with impaired vision on & off the net. PROCEDURE: The newsgroup creation process is currently undergoing revision. Please refer to the newsgroup creation policies listed here: http://www.big-8.org/dokuwiki/doku.php?id=policies:proposals All discussion of this proposal should be posted to news.groups. RATIONALE: soc.support.vision-impaired In 2002, the World Health Organization estimated that more than 161 million people were visually impaired, of which 124 million had low vision and 37 million were blind. http://www.tiresias.org/guidelines/visual.htm It is not known how many of these blind/vi people use the Internet, but some estimates have been made. In 1999, for example, the US Bureau of the Census reported that roughly 1.5 million blind/vi people in the United States over the age of 15 claimed to have access to the Internet. http://www.afb.org/Section.asp?SectionID=15&DocumentID=1367 There are thousands of websites for, about, and by vision-impaired people on the Internet. On or off the net, these blind/vi people have to deal with two different sets of problems: the medical aspects of their impaired vision, and the social impact it has on their daily lives. sci.med.vision appears to be a good place for discussing the medical aspects of impaired vision, but not necessarily for discussing ways and means of dealing with the personal side of living with impaired vision. soc.support.vision-impaired is intended to fill that role. soc.support.vision-impaired would be a place where blind/vi people, their relatives, friends, caregivers, teachers, and professionals in the field can get together to share experiences and exchange ideas on how to cope with the social aspects of impaired vision. There is plenty of interest in the general topic of impaired vision. An Advanced Groups Search on the phrase "visually impaired" gets 40,800 hits, of which 2,006 occurred in the last six months, and 458 occurred in the last three months. At first glance, this looks promising, but closer inspection reveals that this data was collected from 15 Google groups and only two Usenet groups: alt.comp.blind-users and alt.disability.blind.social (which doesn't have a short-line description and thus may not even be a valid group). Popularity in Google groups may not translate into popularity in Usenet groups. The Usenet groups are both low volume groups originally created in the mid-1990s, but traffic has decreased in recent years. For the first five months of this year, 394 articles were posted to alt.comp.blind-users, and 97 were posted to alt.disability.blind.social. Most of these articles appear to be on-topic for those groups, but even if we add them together (491), it still isn't enough to justify automatic creation of soc.support.vision-impaired. It might, however, be enough to justify creation of the group on a trial basis for not more than six months. There is traffic on vision impairment in other Usenet groups as well, but not very much. alt.www.webmasters and some comp.* groups occasionally get articles related to vision impairment, as do groups related to medical conditions such as diabetes where vision loss is a problem. It may be possible to draw some of that traffic into the soc.support.* group, but that is not guaranteed. Nevertheless, I think this proposal should at least be considered. CHARTER: soc.support.vision-impaired soc.support.vision-impaired is an unmoderated newsgroup for the discussion of the personal/social aspects of living with impaired vision, where 'impaired vision' is loosely defined as 'any visual impairment which significantly interferes with a person's ability to handle daily living tasks'. Blind/vi people, their families, friends, caregivers, teachers, and professionals in the field are encouraged to read and post to the group to share experiences and exchange ideas on how to cope with impaired vision. Topics include: learning how to get around in the dark; using your other senses to compensate for vision loss; utilizing resources on and off the net; learning to cook and do household tasks; selecting and using various types of vision aids (both hi-tech and low-tech); selecting and using special hardware and software designed for the vision-impaired. All types of vision-impairment are on topic in this group, regardless of the underlying cause. Whether a person was born blind or lost his vision in an accident or due to a medical condition is immaterial. This group focuses on coping with the vision loss, not necessarily with the underlying cause. Medical topics should be posted to sci.med.vision. Posters are expected to abide by normal Usenet standards of decorum, and to ignore articles intended to disrupt the group. The usual suspects are prohibited (spam, binaries, direct advertising, etc.) END CHARTER. DISTRIBUTION: This RFD has been posted to the following newsgroups: news.announce.newgroups news.groups sci.med.vision alt.comp.blind-users alt.disability.blind.social Pointers will be posted to: misc.handicap alt.support.glaucoma alt.lasik-eyes misc.education PROPONENT: Henrietta K Thomas <hkt(at)xnet DOT com> HISTORY: 2006-06-03 Formatted by Tim Skirvin. 2006-06-02 Original text submitted by Henrietta K Thomas as a replacement for a previous proposal to create misc.handicap.vision-impaired, which is hereby withdrawn.