In this episode, I’m joined by Jeff Bishop, the President of Blind Information Technology Specialists (BITS). We discuss the accomplishments of BITS as an organization and their mission to promote accessibility and education in the field of technology for the blind and low vision community. Last year, under Jeff’s leadership, BITS saw significant growth in their membership, reaching over 650 members. They have also formed partnerships with organizations like Numis Solutions and Bookshare to provide additional resources and opportunities to their members.
Jeff highlights the importance of collaboration and partnering with others to achieve success. He shares that BITS has started offering Python training courses and is exploring other areas of training, such as office training, web accessibility, and web development. Jeff also expresses his vision of bringing modern web capability to the organization and sharing it with the broader community.
The conversation shifts towards employment opportunities, with Jeff mentioning the idea of bringing employers and organizations to interact with BITS members for potential job opportunities. The importance of networking and creating connections within the community is emphasized.
Jeff also discusses the communication strategies employed by BITS, mentioning the introduction of topic-based email lists and the implementation of a Discord server for text and voice chats. The organization is actively seeking feedback and making adaptations to ensure effective communication and scalability.
Towards the end of the conversation, I extend an invitation to join BITS, highlighting the benefits of membership, such as access to training courses and networking opportunities. I also suggest the Copilot Pro tool from Microsoft and discuss my struggle with learning to use certain technologies for office tasks. We touch on the challenges of managing email lists using the Groups.io app and discuss troubleshooting and problem-solving.
I conclude by sharing my contact information and thanking the guests for their participation. We invite listeners to provide feedback and inform them about other podcasts available on the network.