Dear NVDACon board:
I am Derek Riemer, a passionent NVDA user and developer. I work on Google drive’s web frontend full time, and volunteer for the NVDA project. As one of your current NVDACon co chairs, it is a humbling honor to serve the NVDA community, and everything that it stands for. For the last two years, I was the chair of NVDACon, and was a key member on the NVDACon 10th anniversary planning committee in 2016. I have also worked on NVDA in a volunteer capacity for 6 years, helping organize efforts such as the overhall of the addons review process, contributing many addons to the community, triaging issues, and writing code for the screen reader.
The goals of the NVDA project, NVDACon, and NV Access have improved the quality of life for many blind people around the world, especially in developing nations, where access to the internet is a major and important step for empowerment and employment of blind people. Hundreds of thousands of blind people around the planet use NVDA to work, play, and create. For this reason, I wish to increase the number of people NVDACon reaches, to help people realize the potential of NVDA, and learn new exciting ways to use the product. Based on conference participation from last year, and the natural growth of NVDACon, A goal of reaching 100 or more live participants seems reasonable. I also wish to make it easier to access audio and video archives of our conference. I strive to reach ten thousand people via audio archives, and make these archives more publically nown. I also realize that some people either do not have the bandwidth to download audio archives, or have other disabilities, such as deafness. For this reason, I wish to transcribe all of the NVDACon archives into a textual format, so that these people can enjoy all of the benefits of NVDACon. NVDACon is key to making sure Nv Access hears the voices of the people it is tasked with serving. This is why I want to create a system for gauging whether our conference is succeeding in the eyes of the people who perhaps matter most for our success. Finally, in a span of only 6 years, NVDACon has grown from a gathering of 10 people chatting about NVDA on a server, to a well recognized and respected conference with promotion on many of the most popular and well respected blindness related podcasts, and global reach in the thousands. I have recognized that it is time to make our leadership structure more stable. This is why a goal of mine is to make sure the rest of the committee could run the conference, and continue its success. Part of ensuring this is handing more of the leadership responsibility to the co chair. I also intend on balancing the tasks assigned to other members more equitably. I failed at accomplishing this last year, and realize that itt is important to get this right.
Thank you for letting me serve the role of NVDACon chair for the last two years. Bringing people from all over the world together to discuss NVDA related topics is a fun process, and I would be honored to do this once more.