Nearly three decades have passed since JAWS for Windows was released, during which possibly tens of thousands of blind and partially sighted programmers entered software development. Just as it was in Henter’s time, it’s a field that is relatively inclusive for people who are blind, as the accessibility barriers are lower than in many hands-on jobs.
- While a screen reader can be configured to rattle off punctuation, a lot of people find it distracting, and it is easier in many cases to feel your way through it.
- “If it’s all text,” most people think, “then it is an awesome OS for the blind to be working with!
- However, most concepts like this that seem to be done in more complex ways than required usually confuse me.
- Of course, Android Studio is changing that, and now the Android Studio itself has become almost comparable to Eclipse-based IDEs.
- I usually rely on synthetic speech but do have a Braille display.
- She was working hard to finish college, because her eyesight was getting worse and was going to go away completely.
This constant pressure, coupled with unwilling professors that would rather get their job done and get home, made me realize that it is not worth it to go through an education system that I had to fight with all the time. When I posted the Autobiography of a Blind Programmer, I received a lot of requests asking about the way I use the computer, how I write code, and how I understand abstract concepts. The 26-year-old also collaborates across teams and notes that he’s able to provide quality feedback because he has a “pretty good mental map of the structure of the code.” These are just two of the many developers out there who have figured out ways to code productively despite blindness. I hope this inspires you to keep coding despite whatever setbacks you face, and to encourage other people to do the same. Touch typing is NOT a visual skill, a blind person can do it just as well as a sighted person.
It seems people still really, really love Avatar
“When other kids were learning handwriting, I spent the same time learning touch typing,” Ojala says. “It was more or less a fancy typewriter.” Things changed when he got his own computer for the first time, a machine that came with a demo version of JAWS. “It would run for like 40 or 45 minutes at a time, and I had to reboot the computer,” says Ojala. He couldn’t afford the license, let alone the price of future upgrades. Still, in less than a year, while running the JAWS demo in those short increments, he’d learned to program. One home license currently costs $1,000 ($1,285 for a professional license), and future updates cost extra.
- Annual licenses that cost $95 ($90 for students) are available only in the U.S. 89% of people with vision loss come from low-income and middle-income countries.
- They transmit texts on a computer screen as speech or in braille.
- Most Braille keyboards also have extra keys for things like space, delete, forward, back, etc.
- His track record includes working on SimCity BuildIt for EA and FarmVille 3.
It’s a very useful resource for knowing the statistical trends within a minority of users. With those explanations, you might be asking yourself why I’m not using the Mac. After all, it aims to provide a nice and easy to use graphical user interface, while keeping the power of a terminal at your fingertips.
The problem is that the kind of stimulation that a mind map provides for someone who does see, is not provided to me when I just write things down. When you extend this into the world of web applications, then a lot of similar features lose their meaning, too. For example, I can’t use Google Analytics effectively because there is no way of easily viewing the raw data in the interface, without a whole lot of hovering your mouse on things.
For example, I can control the mouse with it, view the elements on the screen hierarchically . However, one of the more impressive features of any screen reader is usually in how it handles web content. The more rudimentary functionality is to be able to move between different types of elements such as lists, headings, buttons, text fields, and so on. The more advanced level is granularity, such as being able to jump to a level one heading and so on. Finally, being able to handle WAI-ARIA is one of the features that has become important recently, as more and more websites adopt its usage . A Braille display is less common and is comparatively much more expensive and can show 40 or 80 columns of text, and can be used when exact positioning/punctuation is important. While a screen reader can be configured to rattle off punctuation, a lot of people find it distracting, and it is easier in many cases to feel your way through it.
- For C and C++ programming I use cygwin with gcc as my compiler and emacs or vim as my editor depending on what I need to do.
- The problem is that the kind of stimulation that a mind map provides for someone who does see, is not provided to me when I just write things down.
- As a programmer, I just feel so sorry that I never paid enough attention to accessibility…
- Henter could perform his job without any assistance.
- I would imagine that given the difficulty imposed by the screen interface, blindness may enhance your ability to get the big picture…