I'm posting this in this forum just to get the message out...
You may have heard that Oracle, the database dudes, bought Sun Microsystems, who along with their Open Solaris were also busy investing in a screen reader for GNOME, the popular Windowing system for Linux.
Gnome is the default windowing system for Ubuntu (the most popular Linux distro currently), Fedora, Open Suse and I'm not sure who else, and has been working with the Mozilla Corp for a long time. Sun had a big push for accessibility with their systems and this translated to work on the Orca screen reader and magnifyer and Braille tty (BRLTTY) system.
The number of developers dedicated to Orca at Sun was 5, and lately it was two: Joanmarie Diggs and Willie Walker.
Oracle has now told them they are no longer needed (so, as of now they are no longer working for Sun or on Orca). It's unclear if Orca will be abandoned by Oracle or not, but this is rather serious.
I hope people who have heard of Orca and care about it, or accessible Linux (think of developing countries where Linux and Open Source has the ability to offer software to poor people, where it happens blindness and vision problems are more common), or if you
-know any screen reader users who use Linux, or
-know any Python developers who like to work on Open Source projects, or
-know anyone working on Webkit who has interest in Gnome (there is lots of talk about webkit and accessibility being awesome on Macs due to Apple's pushing but sucking badly on Linux right now)
please spread the word! There needs to be a nice core of developers to keep Orca robust and maintained! Orca is written in Python so Python people with spare time would be awesome.
Orca has a lively mailing list: http://mail.gnome.org/mailman/listinfo/orca-list
Please help spread the word. As Will Walker states, if nobody says anything or gets the word out, it will be assumed that nobody cares.