I am absolutely pleased to announce that this coming Sunday, October 10, marks the first anniversary of the Tech-VI announcement list. To paraphrase a line from the theme of Babylon 5, which is my favorite TV series, this list is perhaps a dream given form. In many ways I’ve been unofficially providing these announcements for nearly thirty years since I first began working in this field.
My first role was with Blazie Engineering, a company that I’m sure many of you fondly remember as much as I do. Even at that early stage in my career I had a passion for technology and was keeping up with the latest JAWS for DOS updates from Henter-Joyce, what was new with Arkenstone’s OpenBook and updates to this new screen reader from GW Micro called Window-Eyes. Without being asked to do it I began regularly sending emails with these announcements to my coworkers, most of whom were sighted and generally not assistive technology users. I don’t know how many of them read even some of those announcements or how many of them even cared. Nobody asked me to stop spamming them with these announcements even once and so I kept sending them as I received them. When I left the company and began working at AbiliTech providing computer training to children I continued the practice. Many of my teammates were also trainers and users of this technology and so perhaps my readership actually expanded. When I left AbiliTech to work at another blindness agency I continued sending announcements to my coworkers and continued doing so for the 13.5 years I was employed there. Amazingly, nobody asked me to stop. HR never visited my classroom with a warning to cease and desist. Nobody filed a petition to my managers begging them to take action.
During the 1990s I was also delighted to subscribe to a similar list run by Amy Ruell, a service which sadly no longer exists. Amy was performing a similar service, forwarding well-formatted announcements from various mailing lists.
During this entire time I was also sending announcements to mailing lists which dealt with blindness assistive technology. I began to realize that perhaps I needed to launch my own mailing list instead of bombarding other lists with announcements. This would allow those who were interested in receiving them the opportunity to subscribe to such a list and also giving some peace and quiet to those poor souls who perhaps didn’t exactly feel that they had signed up to receive such a large number of announcements. And so the Tech-VI list was born on October 10, 2020. News and announcements are taken from mailing lists, job postings, announcements from relevant Web sites along with a ton of news feeds that I regularly monitor. I am happy and honestly amazed to report that we are now past 750 subscribers and we continue to add more each week. As is expected some people choose to unsubscribe but we’ve lost very few readers. This has made me quite happy as well as humbled that so many of you find this list to be of value and relevance in your life with more members being added weekly. Therefore, whether you’ve been subscribed to Tech-VI for a week or for the past year I would sincerely like to thank you for choosing to subscribe. There are thousands of discussion groups and announcement lists on the Internet. Your time is as valuable as mine and it means a lot that you’ve chosen to subscribe to this list as part of your inbox. Thank you.
You may subscribe to the Tech-VI announcement list to receive emails regarding news and events in the blindness assistive technology field. I also include some occasional how-to articles on how to use certain mainstream technologies more effectively to improve productivity along with announcements for upcoming webinars and accessibility-related employment opportunities.
To subscribe, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
You may also visit the Tech-VI home on Groups.io.