RE: Searching for blind programmer to start a school for blind programmers

  • From: "Ken Perry" <whistler@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: <programmingblind@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Fri, 8 Apr 2011 06:29:47 -0400

Awe come on I don't kick people when they are down or anything and I don't
even bark good.

ken

-----Original Message-----
From: programmingblind-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
[mailto:programmingblind-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx] On Behalf Of Jared Wright
Sent: Friday, April 08, 2011 4:14 AM
To: programmingblind@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
Subject: Re: Searching for blind programmer to start a school for blind
programmers

Defensive much? It's Ken, his bark is worse than his bite.
On 4/7/2011 11:49 PM, John G wrote:
> this really is unnecessary, and that is all I have to say on the subject.
> Kind regards,
> John
>
>
>> Um radio on acb can be interactive a long time back someone invented this
>> thing called phones. Grin.
>>
>> Ken
>>
>> -----Original Message-----
>> From: programmingblind-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
>> [mailto:programmingblind-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx] On Behalf Of John G
>> Sent: Thursday, April 07, 2011 8:25 PM
>> To: programmingblind@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
>> Subject: RE: Searching for blind programmer to start a school for blind
>> programmers
>>
>> But this would be interactive. For example, a lab
>> session on visual studio. the students would be
>> given exercises to complete during the session
>> while the instructor would be there on hand to
>> help those having access issues, that sort of thing.
>> John
>>
>>
>> >I had thought of doing a programming radio show on acbradio but I
>> thought
>> it
>> >was to geaky.
>> >
>> >Ken
>> >
>> >-----Original Message-----
>> >From: programmingblind-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
>> >[mailto:programmingblind-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx] On Behalf Of John G
>> >Sent: Thursday, April 07, 2011 5:05 PM
>> >To: programmingblind@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
>> >Subject: Re: Searching for blind programmer to start a school for blind
>> >programmers
>> >
>> >
>> >What does the list think of the idea of a live
>> >audio channel as an extension of programming
>> >Blind and nonvisualdevelopment.org?
>> >Skype, TeamTalk offer two ways of achieving this goal.
>> >With the wealth of knowledge on this list I'm
>> >sure it could become an invaluable source of learning.
>> >Interactive sessions, lectures if you like, could
>> >range from accessibility matters to straitforward software engineering.
>> >for example, programming with VS and JFW or
>> >Window-Eyes, the basics of programming,
>> >programming in Java, object oriented analysis and
>> >design, databases, the list goes on.
>> >Such a scheme would require organisation and
>> >discipline to pull off but I have no doubt we've plenty of both on PB.
>> >
>> >Kind regards,
>> >John
>> >
>> > >I also am inclined to agree with this. I'm just
>> > >finished with school and haven't gotten to see
>> > >first hand just how much of an impact it will
>> > >have in the workforce, I admit, but I know I
>> > >learned a lot about not just programming but
>> > >about working smoothly on a development team
>> > >otherwise made up of sighted developers by going
>> > >to a "normal" university for CompSci. My fear
>> > >would be that in a special environment for blind
>> > >programming instruction all the tools used for
>> > >class would be the most accessible ones
>> > >available. Then a student would get into the
>> > >work force with an employer who doesn't use
>> > >those ideal accessible tools and the student
>> > >would be ill-equipped to problem solve this
>> > >challenge. I think having a vibrant, active
>> > >community of blind coders working on things like
>> > >nonvisualdevelopment.org and contributing to
>> > >forums like this one is a great way to help
>> > >address the unique challenges of being a blind
>> > >coder, but in the grand scheme of things I feel
>> > >I spend about 10% of my time devoted to
>> > >programming and related pursuits finding
>> > >blind-friendly ways of using tools or
>> > >environments. The other 90% is the same process
>> > >of learning programming that my sighted peers
>> > >take on. I also do think there would be issues
>> > >with many employers disregarding or harboring
>> > >skepticism of applicants who listed a
>> > >specialized school for blind people on a resumé.
>> > >Still, a good idea to kick around and get a variety of prospectives
>> on.
>> > >On 4/7/2011 3:23 PM, Sina Bahram wrote:
>> > >>I agree with this as well.
>> > >>
>> > >>Take care,
>> > >>Sina
>> > >>
>> > >>-----Original Message-----
>> > >>From: programmingblind-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
>> > >>[mailto:programmingblind-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx] On Behalf Of Ken Perry
>> > >>Sent: Thursday, April 07, 2011 1:08 PM
>> > >>To: programmingblind@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
>> > >>Subject: RE: Searching for blind programmer to
>> > >>start a school for blind programmers
>> > >>
>> > >>I have to say this even though I think there is a place for what
>> you're
>> > >>thinking of.
>> > >>
>> > >>I hate sepertive schools. One of the things that made me a good
>> >programmer
>> > >>was competing against the people I would be competing against in the
>> work
>> > >>world In the academic world.
>> > >>
>> > >>The salt Lake community college had a class run by novel that taught
>> blind
>> > >>people to code for Novel OS but I found the students that came out of
>> >their
>> > >>knew a single thing and not very well.
>> > >>
>> > >>Now with that said if the standards are high enough a school like
>> this
>> >could
>> > >>be a good benefit but you have to be careful not to dumb down both
>> the
>> >speed
>> > >>of learning or quality thereof. Of course that is true for all
>> schools.
>> > >>
>> > >>One last thing though that the regular schools taught me. That is
>> part
>> of
>> > >>life as a blind coder is finding ways to cope with problems that
>> you run
>> > >>into. If you have things handed to you, you might not be as affective
>> >when
>> > >>you get out in the work world.
>> > >>
>> > >>Ken
>> > >>
>> > >>Ken
>> > >>-----Original Message-----
>> > >>From: programmingblind-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
>> > >>[mailto:programmingblind-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx] On Behalf Of Bill Cox
>> > >>Sent: Thursday, April 07, 2011 12:03 PM
>> > >>To: programmingblind@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
>> > >>Subject: Searching for blind programmer to start a school for blind
>> > >>programmers
>> > >>
>> > >>This is still in the dumb-idea phase, and I don't have any funding
>> > >>lined up to get this started. That said...
>> > >>
>> > >>I have not been able to find any on-line school for teaching blind
>> > >>people to become professional programmers. I feel the world needs
>> > >>such an organization. I am not able to start such a school myself,
>> > >>but I would be interested in assisting social entrepreneurs in
>> > >>starting such a venture. I it would best be implemented as a
>> > >>for-profit social entrepreneurial venture. You can read about social
>> > >>entrepreneurs here:
>> > >>
>> > >>http://www.ashoka.org/social_entrepreneur
>> > >>http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Social_entrepreneurship
>> > >>
>> > >>I'm thinking it could be a Low Profit Corporation (LPC) founded to
>> run
>> > >>the school for a profit. Everyone hired in teaching or management
>> > >>would be vision impaired or blind. Students would attend classes
>> > >>on-line, and could be anywhere in the world. Classes would not be
>> > >>free (maybe $1,000 per 1-semester course?). Students who are too poor
>> > >>to pay would be expected to do well in their courses and make up
>> their
>> > >>fees by assisting teaching of those courses in later semesters. They
>> > >>might also be required to work for an associated consulting
>> company to
>> > >>earn tuition. Students would be encouraged to help mentor each other
>> > >>in any case.
>> > >>
>> > >>Associated with the school could be a software consulting services
>> > >>company. The company would only hire vision impaired programmers, and
>> > >>students wanting to work for the company could take classes designed
>> > >>to train them in the skills they'll need. The company might encourage
>> > >>it's employees to spend one day a week on FOSS projects of their
>> > >>interest, which hopefully would include improving accessibility.
>> > >>
>> > >>Rough numbers to back up the idea: There are around 15 million people
>> > >>with "severe" vision impairments in the US. Roughly half of those
>> > >>people are too old. Half of the rest may have other impairments that
>> > >>would prevent them from becoming programmers. In the general
>> > >>population, there are 1 programmer out of every 500 people in the US.
>> > >>I would expect a ratio at least that high among the blind, or about
>> > >>7,500 professional programmers in the US alone. If we took 20 years
>> > >>to train that many, it'd be 375 new students per year, and assuming a
>> > >>two year program, we'd have 750 students. If only half paid the class
>> > >>fees, but took three classes at a time (a full load), that'd be
>> > >>$3,000*750*2 = $4.5 million per year. My kids go to a school which
>> > >>happens to have about 750 students and a budget of just over $4
>> > >>million per year, and that includes paying for a school. So, that
>> > >>math seems to work out, but we're not talking about anyone making a
>> > >>billion dollars in this effort. This is not a VC-fundable idea, but
>> > >>it might attract funding from groups that invest in socially
>> > >>beneficial startups.
>> > >>
>> > >>I know a couple of good candidates to start this school, and one
>> might
>> > >>be interested in actually doing it. Are there any good blind or
>> > >>vision impaired people you guys could recommend for me to talk to? I
>> > >>think the key would be finding the right couple of guys.
>> > >>
>> > >>Thanks,
>> > >>Bill
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