Advice for a programmer losing vision?

  • From: Bill Cox <waywardgeek@xxxxxxxxx>
  • To: programmingblind@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Mon, 15 Jun 2009 10:32:12 -0400


Sorry if you get a lot of first-time dumb posts, like this.  I've got a rare
genetic defect that's causing me to lose my central vision.  It's a lot like
macular degeneration, but I'm only 45 years old.  I've been a programmer all
my life, and have succeeded in dealing with disability before.  I could not
type for three years.  I mostly program in C on Linux.

What tools should I learn, what forums should I join, and what skills should
I develop to stay a productive programmer?  I'm very good at building custom
environments, which I did when I couldn't type.  For example, should I
bother with Braille, and which screen readers are best for mail, web
browsing (and which browser?), and controlling shells and emacs?  I expect
to have peripheral vision for a long time.  Do programmers with only
peripheral vision fare better reading text up close, or using screen


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