Goodbye, Debbie Scales

Probably nobody who reads this will care about what I’m about to write, but I guess that’s never stopped me before, has it? I just learned that Debbie Scales, who used to run the JFWLite mailing list, and created the JFWLite website, has died. I always knew she had health problems, and that was part of the reason she started the whole JFWLite project. She felt she needed to give herself something else to do. For years, she ran a mailing list to help blind people who use JAWS learn how to use it better. At first, she was learning along with the rest of them, but by the end, she became a genius and the person who everybody asked, no, flocked to, for help. She said she created the list to help keep her going. If I were in her shoes, dealing with the things she dealt with in running that thing, it would have put me under!

For who knows how long, she ran the list, helped people privately, and maintained a website full of programs and helpful hints. If you asked her a question, she would do whatever she could to answer it. When I was learning about HTML, she went through my horribly-disfigured code created after I had been up all night and told me what I was doing wrong without making me feel like a giant idiot. She made lots of scripts to make JAWS work better with different programs, some of which I got to beta test, which was pretty cool. She will be missed by all the people she helped, and by her husband, kids and family.

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