Questions about blind programming.

Hi, I have discussed this topic before but I feel like I want to bring this up again, since it is important.

I am currently taking up programming again, although I risk losing my eye sight in the future. I wonder how long it takes on average to learn how to use a computer without a monitor. Does it take long to learn how to program with braille and a screen reader? Can you learn new languages this way?

When it comes to programming itself, I love it. I like the thinking progress, to solve logical problems and to be creative. But I am worried that the rest that comes with programming is going to ruin it all. Just thinking about typing and understanding strict syntax without being able to see it, almost gives me a headache. I know that there are blind programmers and I admire them for having the skills to do all this and be successful at the same time.

If you are a blind programmer and you read this, I am specially interested in your experiences and opinions.

Thanks for all answers.
Best regards, Zerpent.
Hi,

The old saying watching too much computer and TV is a myth and it does not affect eyes trust me.
Last edited on
I heard that once blind the brain adapts really quickly and other senses take over, maybe your memory could improve so when a computer reads what you have typed you will be able to hold all the code together in your head long enough to spot the mistake.
Spaceworm, I have a severe eye condition/disease, that's why I brought this up.
Oh, Sorry I really did not mean to be rude please excuse my post, I changed it.

:) Sorry again.
Last edited on
Oh no don't worry :). I did not mention that in the first post so it's my fault. I am happy that you replied.

Further replies and opinions are still welcome.
Let me first say that I am not knowledgeable about this field, but just a few thoughts.

1. Google "screen readers for the blind". There are several free software packages out there. Search for reviews and then download a few and try them out. Perhaps you could set aside some practice time every day using a blindfold mask like this:
http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_ss_i_0_5?url=search-alias%3Dhpc&field-keywords=sleep%20mask&sprefix=sleep%2Chpc%2C321&rh=i%3Ahpc%2Ck%3Asleep%20mask

The task sounds daunting, but as devonrevenge said above the brain is very adaptable, as evidenced by the fact that a small child learns language just by listening and yet no one knows how, not even the linguists. The most intelligent and powerful (not the fastest) computer is not based on silicon, but the one based on carbon that designed and created the silicon computer. The human brain can accomplish remarkable things, even things we might think beforehand to be impossible.

2. Contact the personnel departments of some of the major software companies, Microsoft, Apple, Google, IBM etc., and ask if they have any blind programmers and if so, what accommodations they use (hardware and software). Also ask if any of their blind programmers would be willing to email you to describe their experiences and opinions. As you did in your original post, tell them of your love of programming and your concerns about how difficult it might be if you eventually go blind. Hopefully you will touch a responsive empathetic chord, just as you did here with your original post.

God bless you and best wishes with your health and future.
Last edited on
Like you say, there are successful blind programmers. It sounds difficult, but you never know until you try. I imagine that once you are blind, you will have much less distraction from the thinking process without the need to process visual data, and so you will adapt, and have plenty of motivation and brain capacity to take on the challenges you'll face.

Maybe you could start now working on designing software which can help the blind to program easier.
Topic archived. No new replies allowed.