From Usenet Big-8 Management Board
From: Henrietta K Thomas <>
Newsgroups: news.announce.newgroups, news.groups,,
Followup-To: news.groups
Date: Mon, 07 Aug 2006 11:28:51 -0700

                      REQUEST FOR DISCUSSION (RFD)

This is a formal Request For Discussion (RFD) for the creation of the
unmoderated Usenet newsgroup,


The B8MB plans to begin voting on this proposal after five days.  Please
offer any final discussion or comments before the end of this waiting
period.  Voting may take up to one week (7 days); a result will be posted
following the end of the voting period.

All discussion of this proposal should be posted to news.groups.

The full (draft) group creation procedure is documented here:


Reaction to the first RFD was fairly positive.  Suggestions were made
and accepted for improvements to the Newsgroups line, Rationale, and
Charter, and several posters expressed interest in using the group.  See
the following URLs for their actual comments:

    Brian Gaff     news:i_mgg.80467$

    Neil Brooks



    Victoria       news:44e14$449604cb$d066138f$26055@FUSE.NET

    Andrew Hodgson

A poll was taken and six more people expressed an interest in using the

A Feedback section added to the 2nd RFD generated positive responses
from toto, Aula, and saur.  So, altogether, about a dozen people have
expressed interest in using the group.

Further suggestions for improving the proposal were made, and these were
incorporated into the 3rd RFD.  The most significant change was in the
short-line description.

Based on the discussion of the 3rd RFD, the language has been tightened
up a bit and most references to the alt.* groups have been removed from
both the Rationale and Charter.  The group name and short-line
description, however, remain the same as they were in the 3rd RFD.


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.  These figures do not include millions more who
are visually impaired due to uncorrected refractive error.

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.

There are thousands of websites for, about, and by vision-impaired
people on the Internet.

On or off the net, vision-impaired people have to deal with two different
sets of problems: the medical aspects of their impaired vision, and the
impact it has on their daily lives. 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 the equation. is intended to fill
that role. would be a place where vision impaired 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.  Similar results were obtained using similar phrases,
such as "vision impaired", "legally blind", "visual impairment", etc.

At first glance, the numbers for "visually impaired" look promising, but
closer inspection reveals that this data was collected from 15 Google
groups and only two Usenet groups: alt.comp.blind-users and

The Usenet groups are both low volume groups originally created in the
mid-1990s, but traffic has decreased in recent years.  In the first five
months of 2006, 394 articles were posted to the blind-users group and 97
to the group, for a grand total of 491 articles, or slightly
more than three articles per day.

There is traffic on vision impairment in other Usenet groups as well.
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 is not possible to
get an accurate count of such articles because they are so widely
scattered around so many different groups.  One purpose of is to provide a central location for some of
this scattered discussion.

CHARTER: is an unmoderated Usenet newsgroup for
discussion of the personal and social effects of visual impairment on
people whose impaired vision has a significant impact on their ability
to handle day-to-day tasks.

The group is open to anyone who has a genuine interest in visual
impairment, including the fully sighted.

Blind/vi people, their families, friends, caregivers, teachers, and
professionals in the field are especially 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 on the
underlying cause.

Posters are expected to abide by normal Usenet standards of conduct and
to ignore articles intended to disrupt the group.

The usual suspects are prohibited - spam, binaries, html, direct
advertising, etc.


This document has been posted to the following newsgroups:


The proponent will also post pointers to:


Henrietta K Thomas <>


2006-08-07     LCC Posted
2006-07-11     3rd RFD
2006-06-22     2nd RFD
2006-06-03     1st RFD, formatted by Tim Skirvin
2006-06-02     Received from hkt; replaces