brails.org is a learning portal for the blind and even built by the blind with support from the Ruby community. This boasts of extensive adherence to accessibility standards for the visually impaired.
The origin of Brails
A lot of visually impaired children do not get a decent opportunity to learn. Those who do, they have a tough time during graduation because of their visual impairment and the inability or inavailability of teachers skilled in teaching advanced vocational subjects. This disadvantage can easily be resolved if we have the right resources available - and what better a teacher than the internet. However, learning on the Internet entails these problems:
- Learning about Rails, Ruby and maybe other programming languages later. But before that ..
- Learning about programming languages and object oriented concepts. But before that ..
- Learning to navigate accessibility aware web portals. But before that ..
- Learning how to work on a computer and navigate among applications. But before that ..
- Learning how to use screen readers like NVDA, JAWS or ORCA to be able to "hear" applications & web portals. But before that ..
- Learning how to start, stop, configure screen readers. But before that ..
- Learning what computers are and why we need them!
Oh! Did we just tell you about the Brails initiative in reverse order or did you 'see' that already? ;)
Walk the Talk
Siddhant Chothe, CEO of Techvision, is just another programmer with an advantage - he's blind. This special ability has helped him nurture a team of great programmers, teach them everything that we have just read earlier. He spoke recently at RubyConf India, 2013 and got a lot of accolades for his presentation about what ARIA is and why it is important.
The punch line: "Github is not accessible but Google is. So, you've still gotta make your web apps accessible!"
Here is the video: video will be uploaded shortly
Contributing to Brails
So, if this has got you excited and you want to help, here are a few ways:
- Code contribution. Fork away and send us pull requests!
- Content contribution. We always need good content from which we shall generate a transcript and get it professionally recorded for our audio.
- Monetary Contribution. Do send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and we shall work it out.
- Volunteering help. If you don't code, you can still help - we always need people to promote, market and find us people whom we can help!
We want to conduct workshops and give presentations at various conferences in the world, to ensure that all web development also become ARIA compliant. Ruby and Rails conferences are preferred because we are Rubyists at heart. However, we can talk about accessibility in any conference that requires it!
Niwant Foundation - where TechVision has been incubated.
Josh Software - Where we work on Ruby and who support us with this initiative.
All the source code is licensed under the MIT license. All the audio and learning content is copyright of Techvision. Reuse and redistribution rights for content would be available on request.