Re: Number of folks on the list

  • From: "Dale Leavens" <dleavens@xxxxxxx>
  • To: <programmingblind@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Sat, 20 Oct 2007 16:54:20 -0400

Hello Andreas,

Another more important answer or maybe it should be turned into a question 
might be:

Not as many as there could be if in the presence of accessible tools.

or stated as an answer with a question;

How many blind programmers would there be in the absence of barriers? 

Just some thoughts.

A couple of years ago I completed an intensive course on rehabilitation of 
acquired brain injury. This involves some quite precise physical facilitation 
techniques some of which required a little adaptation do be done blind. The 
instructors were somewhat dubious and I confess so was I but I explained at the 
outset that it was less important to me to acquire a certificate of proficiency 
than to be able to serve that population better. Once we began actually 
treating patients there was a marked shift in attitude by the instructors I 
think for two reasons but of real interest was how the instructors began 
actively pursuing quite innovative ways of achieving some of the methods 
including one or two I would have been satisfied to leave.

My point here is that from either side of the issue it may not be possible to 
predict either the scope or potential of any endeavor. I now bring access to a 
level of rehabilitation to a remote corner of our province often rationed in 
major centers, a small thing in the larger picture but I think the experience 
enriched all 20 students and the three instructors far more than making 
accessibility available to just one blind therapist.

By the way, I did receive a certificate, not all on the course did.

What you are attempting to do is valuable, not just for current programmers but 
for unnumbered potential programmers. Another useful statistic might be the 
number of gainfully employed visually impaired persons there are as a 
percentage of the visually impaired population. I have seen numbers like 3%. 
Improving that number by a single point would make a huge impact. It is not 
just the current population being served.

Dale Leavens, Cochrane Ontario Canada
Skype DaleLeavens
Come and meet Aurora, Nakita and Nanook at our polar bear habitat.

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Andreas Stefik" <stefika@xxxxxxxxx>
To: <programmingblind@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Sent: Saturday, October 20, 2007 2:07 PM
Subject: Re: Number of folks on the list

> Thanks all. I've sent an email to Sina off list to see what kind of
> metrics we can dig up. I know this kind of measure, using mailing
> lists, is far from perfect, but it seems like it is better than
> nothing. I can't tell you how many times I have been asked at academic
> conferences, "So, how many blind programmers are out there, anyway?"
> My extremely lame response has always been, "I can't seem to find
> official statistics on the topic, but there is enough of them that we
> should care about the community." Then they inevitably say, "So, how
> many is that?" and I say, "I have no idea."
> Andreas
> __________
> View the list's information and change your settings at 
> //
View the list's information and change your settings at

Other related posts: