Blind Programmers

  • From: "Cowle, Jodi" <JCowle@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: "'programmingblind@xxxxxxxxxxxxx'" <programmingblind@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Mon, 27 Sep 2010 14:58:57 -0500


I am a blind programmer for the City of Madison, Wisconsin.  Currently I 
program in Progress - which most people haven't heard of.  I started out using 
COBOL in 1985 on a mainframe.  Then I programmed in LINC for several years.  
Our applications are now developed on PC's with Windows XP OS and spread over 
various servers.

I use JAWS as my primary screen reader, and am slowly trying to learn and use 

Over the years my IT department has changed direction.  We no longer develop 
systems in one language and database environment.  We mostly help agencies of 
the city select packages rather than develop applications for them.  I still 
work on old Progress applications, but they are slowly going away.  A while ago 
I created a list of things I'd learned from reading these lists - what people 
were working with, etc.  But this is outdated.

I am trying to find a place to stay busy and useful in my department, and also 
get back some work hours I gave up after my baby was born.
The programming environment is always changing, and is very different from the 
way it was when I started working here.
Hence, my appeal.
Would some blind programmers be willing to write to me off list and let me know 
what programming languages and development tools you use?  I'd also be 
interested in the screen reader or screen readers you use.  This would help me 
with my meeting with management.

I appreciate any input you are willing to give me.

Thank you.


Jodi Cowle
Information Technology
City of Madison, WI
(608) 267-4911
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