Re: Number of folks on the list

  • From: "Octavian Rasnita" <orasnita@xxxxxxxxx>
  • To: <programmingblind@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Sun, 21 Oct 2007 11:58:45 +0300

I think the most relevant information is not the number of blind programmers, but the percent of blind programmers related to the number of totally blind persons, compared with the percent of sighted programmers compared with the number of sighted persons.


Unfortunately for us, there will be a big difference for sure, and the reason will become pretty clear. There are not so many blind programmers because there are no accessible programming courses for the blind in high schools, colleges and universities, there are many programming environments and applications which are not accessible, and that's why. Not because the blind persons are stupid.

So that's why the accessibility is important. We first need to have a program accessible before beeing able to use it.


Octavian

----- Original Message ----- From: "Matthew2007" <matthew2007@xxxxxxxxxxx>
To: <programmingblind@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Sent: Sunday, October 21, 2007 2:41 AM
Subject: Re: Number of folks on the list


You know, there might be some governmental stats or hard research data available regarding the types of employment blind individuals flock to. If you can establish a trend of blind people becoming employed in technology based fields, then you can probably make a good argument that access to programming tools will give the blind programmer good prospects in terms of employment in the near future. In other words, technology and the computer sciences overall has the potential of providing the greatest chances of leveling the playing field in terms of employment for the 70% of unemployed blind individuals as it relates to the sighted population.

...just trying to find a good angle.

Matthew
----- Original Message ----- From: "Matthew2007" <matthew2007@xxxxxxxxxxx>
To: <programmingblind@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Sent: Saturday, October 20, 2007 4:28 PM
Subject: Re: Number of folks on the list


Off the top of my head, how about...

Though population data representing all blind programmers is currently scant, there are 347 registered e-mail addresses in one of the many popular list serves for the blind, and a great majority of this single sample, if not all, are blind or visually impaired individuals "all gathered with the common interest in programming for the blind and sighted population of computer users." Their "nonexistence" in the consciousness of the computer sciences only serves to emphasize the need for accessible programming tools that can hasten their representation in the sciences and technology. You then go on lauding the life changing magic your research will accomplish--(smile)

In other words, because you know they are going to want to ask you about the number of blind programmers, beat them to it and explain how they are nonexistent due to XYZ factors--which will undoubtedly be exactly what you're researching. If you beat them to the obvious questions then they will not have much to follow-up with. Then of course explain how your research can dramatically change the future for blind programmers.

How about you append to your proposal a sample of the e-mail messages you gathered this past week in regards to the great and varied needs of the blind programmers who responded to your initial information request.

Nevertheless I do completely understand and sympathize with your predicament--having to justify the costs and utility of your research venture.

Matthew
---- Original Message ----- From: "Andreas Stefik" <stefika@xxxxxxxxx>
To: <programmingblind@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Sent: Saturday, October 20, 2007 3:35 PM
Subject: Re: Number of folks on the list


Yaa, I agree with what everyone is saying, that even the number of
subscribers, addresses, etc, isn't that useful for judging the size of
the community, etc. That's all completely true. However, many of my
colleagues, for some truly insane reason or another which I can't for
the life of me understand, question the existence of blind computer
programmers in general. By far the most common argument I hear against
doing this kind of research is that the community is very small ... or
so I'm told by those that don't know any better ... But without any
data on the topic at all, it's pretty tough to argue.

Now, I can at least say, "Well, on a popular mailing list for blind
programmers, there are 347 registered email addresses."

Obviously, there are duplicates, some folks aren't active, and some
folks are sighted impostors (like me), but hey, it's better than
nothing!

Thanks Jim for the number of addresses, that helps.

Andreas
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