Hello NVDACon organizers, supporters, and the wider community,
I’m coming up on the stage not much as the founder, but as your forum administrator (for folks who thought such a thing didn’t exist, now you know).
First, I advise cooling down for a while. I can testify how hard it is to let go of what happened during early hours of NVDACon 2020 last weekend. It is okay to talk about recent memories when it is fresh in our minds if you choose to. But we need some time to recover and reflect, and that’s what I think people need desperately. Cooling down also helps folks research things so that when organizers meet again, folks would be ready to discuss issues in a more constructive way.
Second, let me state that analyses and critiques of NVDACon are perfectly acceptable on a public space like this. However, it would be grateful if you can speak not just from your experience, but provide data as well (statistics, reviews, comparisons, anecdotes, expert statements, etc.). Analyses without data amounts to speculation, and critiques without evidence collapses into complaints. Without hard (and hopefully solid) evidence, people cannot decide what to do next.
Third, reflection and encouragement are our top vaccines. We as the community must have capacity to reflect on lessons learned in the past. Not only that, we as the community must be willing to encourage people and give them strength for the present and the future.
We’re going through a difficult moment in history, not only of the world but NVDACon as well. I think the best gift the NVDA community can give to NVDACon and its organizers is encouragements and recognizing the good in bad moments. In addition, I think the best thing NVDACon organizers can do is thinking about and incorporating lessons learned in the past in future planning. Most importantly, even when we show strong opinions and willpower, let’s remind ourselves that reputation of the overall community and NVDACon matters, and that individual statements together with thoughtful collective reflection and action will influence how people (especially outsiders) view NVDACon in the future.
Feel free to contact me if you need advice, vent frustrations, feeling worried, or need somebody to talk to (doesn’t matter if you are an organizer or a participant) – I’m just an email or a tweet away.