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

  • From: "Homme, James" <james.homme@xxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: "programmingblind@xxxxxxxxxxxxx" <programmingblind@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Thu, 7 Apr 2011 12:48:02 -0400

Time for one of my silly questions. What does Lions World do that is different 
from this? Perhaps you could augment what they do in some way. For example, I 
would never go and live there for a while, but if they offered distance 
education, I might take it. Another thought would be to approach Hadley, 
because they excel in this area. Perhaps they could host courses, and all you'd 
need to do would be to build the courses according to their specificationas and 
help them get teachers.


Jim Homme,
Usability Services,
Phone: 412-544-1810. Skype: jim.homme
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-----Original Message-----
From: programmingblind-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx 
[mailto:programmingblind-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx] On Behalf Of Jackie McBride
Sent: Thursday, April 07, 2011 12:43 PM
To: programmingblind@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
Subject: Re: Searching for blind programmer to start a school for blind 


Well, Cisco Academy for the Vision Impaired is already
doing this in terms of cisco networking, so u might wanna look at how
they do the classroom part of it, anyway.

Here's where I see a problem, & u can tell me where to go or whatever,
but when orgs graduate folks & the diploma contains the words "blind"
or "visually impaired" or similar, it's a dead giveaway to the person
reading the resume, &, though it's not legal, they then just get set
aside. Believe me I've had it happen more times than I can count that
folks called me in for an interview, &, understanding for the 1st time
that I was blind, told me they'd just filled the position. If it'd
happened only once, I'd say "well, maybe", but...

The other problem is that if the school isn't accredited, the
likelihood of actually being hired is pretty minimal. Just some things
to think about in terms of obstacles to overcome.

On 4/7/11, RicksPlace <ofbgmail@xxxxxxxxx> wrote:
> Hi Bill: That is a good idea.
> It is a major undertaking.
> You will likely want  one or more accredited teachers for various reasons
> including funding and the use of free, or low cost, software and have your
> school accredited.
> Getting Professional Programmers to teach a class for the blind should be
> doable enough if you get accredited and your  rules of operation allow non
> teachers to teach classes.
> After that, you might talk to a 501 c organization to allow you to work
> under their cincorporation so you don't have to setup and manage your own
> Corporation with all the documentation and tax requirements.
> The technicals should be doable using something like a online vvoice chat
> room with the ability to upload and download documents for classwork.
> That's all I have on this subject.
> Later and good luck Bill.
> Rick USA
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "Bill Cox" <waywardgeek@xxxxxxxxx>
> To: <programmingblind@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
> Sent: Thursday, April 07, 2011 12:02 PM
> 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:
>> 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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Blame the computer--why not? It can't defend itself & occasionally
might even be the culprit
Jackie McBride
Jaws Scripting training materials:
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