I don't actively follow netrek-dev, but this topic is sufficiently interesting
for me to comment upon if you wish to continue listening.

Netrek is a complex game.  There is simply too much visual information that is
viewed and assessed many times a second by a visual player, and much of that
information is relevant only in the context of positions and frames of
reference in the game.  While it may be possible to convey that information
through non-visual means, there can be a tremendous loss or misrepresentation
of that information in the process which can severely impact game play.

Because Netrek depends upon all players being subjected to the same playing
field, the only way for it to be fair for non-visual players is to either
restrict the game to only non-visual players or to augment the disadvantaged
group with unique advantages that both types of players agree are fair.  Note
that the disadvantaged group is not necessarily the non-visual players.

I think a key decision for you is whether or not it is your primary objective
to enable visual and non-visual players to play together in the same Netrek
server as it exists today.

If the answer is no, then you can folllow any or all of your own ideas to fork
and create a non-visual Netrek derivative.  If done well, this could be of
interest to all players regardless of their ability to see (visual players can
obviously use a non-visual client).

If the answer is yes, then I think you should focus on augmenting your
non-visual client so that non-visual players can be better team players, and
delegate fine-grained, individual control of the player's ship to AI (i.e.
borg).  In other words, the non-visual player should direct the ship's AI using
meta commands to attack, defend, or assist in the team's efforts in very
specific ways without having to specify the exact local position and frame of
reference information.

In Netrek, a great dogfighter with top-knotch skill but no clue is far less
useful than a poor dogfighter with strong galactic awareness and team-assisting
knowledge of where to be and what to do.  If you enable a non-visual player to
understand and act upon galactic and team information, then that player can
become effective.

Good luck.