4th RFD: soc.support.vision-impaired (LAST CALL FOR COMMENTS)

Discussion in 'Eye-Care' started by Henrietta K Thomas, Aug 7, 2006.


    This is a formal Request For Discussion (RFD) for the creation of the
    unmoderated Usenet newsgroup, soc.support.vision-impaired.


    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
    Neil Brooks
    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.

    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. 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. 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 the equation. soc.support.vision-impaired is intended to fill
    that role.

    soc.support.vision-impaired 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 blind.social 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
    soc.support.vision-impaired is to provide a central location for some of
    this scattered discussion.


    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 misc.handicap.vision-impaired
    Henrietta K Thomas, Aug 7, 2006
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