Disabilities-R-Us

Created by and for people with physical disabilities.

News

Site Update #7

Nov 25, 2019

As you can see, the Disabilities-R-Us website has been completely redesigned from the top down.  For the longest time, we have been relying on 3rd party Content Management System but the new site uses a CMS that has been completely written me and for us.

We have added new donation options on our support page.  You can still make individual one time donations (as many times as you want) or you can become a donation super-hero with monthly automatic donations for as little as $3 per month through our Patreon page.

For the curious, this is our 7th update in 23 years.


New Chat Server

Nov 11, 2019

With donations received so far, we have been able to acquire a new chat server.  All of the software has been re-written and the Mibbit chat interface (if you access the chat room via our web site) will be replaced with a newer local chat interface.

Thank you everyone for your continued donations that make all of this possible.


New Sheriff in Town

Jul 22, 2019

Over a period of a month, the chat room was having issues with a few particular users whose sole purpose was to come in and harass everyone else.  Unfortunately, our security system was not able to automatically weed those people out.

This week I finished a complete re-write of all of our security software and servers.  It seems that it rather instantly solved all current problems.


Site Update #6

Aug 28, 2017

We've just finished the 6th site design update for Disabilities-R-Us.

This update includes a new web chat and updated community forums.  For security, all pages are now https instead of http so all communication on the site is secured and private.

Please note that if you registered on our Community Forums on or before August 25, 2017, you will need to reset your password. Your password reset confirmation will be emailed to you. If you do not receive it, please check your junk folder. Be sure to add [email protected] to your contact list so you do not miss out on important forum related emails. Disabilities-R-Us will never send you any unsolicited emails.


Disabilities-R-Us Part Five

Feb 27, 2015

Today the Disabilities-R-Us website was updated for the fifth time in 18 years.  The new site was created using UIKit as the framework which makes it a lot cleaner looking and it works flawlessly on all computers and devices.  For security concious people, you can also use SSL (https, instead of http).

At some point this year, a new update to our Windows chat software will also be released.


New Directions

Mar 16, 2014

For those who do not know the history of our chat room, it was started by Carly Matthews back in 1997.  Carly was the administrator and she set the agenda and she made the rules.  My only role was managing the technical aspects.  I did all the programming and other related geeky stuff.  This is how I preferred things to be.  For my entire professional career, I have always preferred to be the geek behind the curtain.

When Carly left the room, everything fell on me.  I moved everything off of free public hosting sites and onto paid private networks with rock solid stability.  We had 7 wholly owned independent service, chat and web servers spread across 4 countries.  For the next 10 years, I paid the expenses out of my own pocket.  Believe me, it was by no means cheap.  This was geek heaven to me so it was worth it.  I also re-branded the site to Disabilities-R-Us and wrote all of the software that makes everything work.

For the entire lifetime of Disabilities-R-Us, it has been a labor of love for everyone involved.  Contrary to popular thought, neither I or any of the moderators have ever been paid for doing what we do.  We are not paid staff, we are all volunteers.  Nobody gets a salary.  The only exception to this is 15 years ago a lady chatter donated $50 specifically to buy me a steak dinner and then a year later she and her husband came to Arizona and took me to KFC (my choice.) 

As should be evident by now, I'm a nerd.  I'm not really a people person.  I can read anyone like a book and know what makes them tick but I'm terrible at interacting with all but a few fellow nerdy people.  This isn't good for someone who runs a support chat room.

Effective immediately, Derek Barton (TiGgEr) is the new Chat Administrator for Disabilities-R-Us.  Like a CEO, he is now in charge of the strategic, operation, and organizational process of the chat room.  He is the boss.  As far as the room goes, I will remain on as a regular moderator (half star) and will provide my expertise in the technical aspects.  I will still maintain the website and deal with fundraising because technically I am still the "owner" when it comes to the long arm of the law and the IRS.  I don't expect anyone else to take on that legal liability.  I will defer to Derek when it comes to implementing his room policies.

Everything else is up to you guys.  Make this work!


Code Signing Certificate

Dec 12, 2013

Good news!  We just got our 5 year Code Signing Certificate from KSoftware.  What this means to our users is that as of the next update to the chat software there will be no more scary false security warnings.  Thanks to KSoftware and account rep Mitchell for getting this all in motion.


Chat room Abbreviations

Nov 08, 2013

New people keep asking so here is the list of most commonly used abbreviations in our chat room.

BRB     Be Right Back
BBL   Be Back Later
BBS   Be Back Soon
BBIAB   Be Back In A Bit
YVW   You're Very Welcome
YW   You're Welcome
PMSL   Pee Myself Laughing
LMAO   Laugh My Ass Off
LOL   Laughing Out Loud
ROFL   Roll On Floor Laughing
HB   Hurry Back
TC   Take Care
WB   Welcome Back
TY   Thank You

New Software Release

Oct 24, 2012

We are pleased to announce the release of Disabilities-R-Us Chat Software v3.0.

To make your online chat experience safer and more enjoyable, we have developed our own custom Disabilities-R-Us Chat software. If you are wondering why you should install it, here's the scoop:

  • Easy to Use - Disabilities-R-Us Chat Software is very easy to use.  Even if you consider yourself completely computer illiterate, you will have no problem installing and using Disabilities-R-Us Chat.  We want to get you chatting as easily as possible.
  • More Rooms - If you want to chat with your friends or family in another private room, no problem!  You can even talk in multiple rooms and in private all at once.
  • Adjustable Font Sizes - Make your fonts as large or as small as you need to read comfortably.
  • Optional Audio Assistance  - The careful use of unobnoxious sounds for specific events also makes your chat experience nicer and easier for visually impaired users.  If you do not need audio assistance or if you just don't like sounds, you can easily turn them off.
  • Optional On-screen Keyboard - Includes an optional on-screen keyboard for mobility impaired users.
  • Works with Windows XP, Vista, Windows 7 and Windows 8.
  • Absolutely Free - Use Disabilities-R-Us Chat as much as you want and for as long as you want.  It's totally free and it will always be that way.
  • It's Safe - Disabilities-R-Us Chat does not contain any adware or spyware and is virus free.  No hidden surprises.  It's free and that is that. 

Disabilities-R-Us Chat Software Screenshot

Easy Download Instructions


Chat Software Development II

Sep 10, 2012

It took about a month longer than planned, but I finally purchased the most recent copy of Delphi.

The reasons for the delay were multiple.  The average development/release cycle for Delphi is about 13 months.  Since it was coming up on that time anways, I decided to sit and wait.  Though I could have purchased the current version, upgrading would have cost another $500 so it was just worth waiting for.  Early on I was talking to a company insider about possibly even getting the software donated entirely (which I could then purchase even more devlopment tools or even this years hosting expenses) but that person simply stopped responding to my emails.  I have no idea why.

So, the Delphi XE3 software will be delivered tomorrow and I can get back to working on the chat software update.

If you have ideas for features, now would be the time to offer suggestions.


Chat Software Development.

Aug 14, 2012

A week ago we finally raised the funds needed to begin working on the update to our new chat software for Windows.  For the computer I purchased an eMachines EL1358G Desktop PC with a two year service warranty.   I decided not to wait until all the funds came in to purchase it so I've had it for just over 2 weeks now.

For the software development end, I will be getting Delphi XE3.  Since it has not yet been released, I am using a 30 day free trial edition to get a good head start.  I've been programming pretty much 12 hours a day every day for the two weeks I've had it.  I'm hoping everyone will be pleased with the results when it's completed.


New Site Design

Jul 25, 2012

Yay, the new site design is up.

I thought this would take a few more months to get around to but since I found a neat software package called GetSimple CMS, I was able to put it all together in a couple days.  Since they, like us, rely on donations to keep their stuff free, we made a $20.00 donation to their site.

As of this writing, we have raised $640 in donations toward our goal of $750 for a new development system for re-writing our chat software.  Thank you everyone for your generosity.



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