Hi all, I’m Devin. I’m from Alabama, in the US. I am a blind person, so very intertwined with accessibility stuff. I enjoy reading; mostly Brandon Sanderson, playing video games; mostly dissidia Final Fantasy (the original PSP version as its much easier to play for me), learning about technology; well besides Linux because accessibility sucks there, and relaxing. I’m a pretty laid back person, but am very pasionate about accessibility. I’m always battling cynicism, and working on seeing the best in people, rather than the worst.
What is your industry and profession?
I work at an institute for people with disabilities. I work in the Assistive Technology department as a Technical Assistant, basically teaching other blind people how to use technology, working on our courses (in Markdown and trying to keep what I have locally up-to-date with the version on Moodle because web interfaces and who would want to use a file system to manage courses anyways? I hate Moodle.). I also make new courses, and watch for any new tech, like VoiceOver’s new machine learning coolness coming in iOS 14, and Samsung dropping their own Voice Assistant screen reader in OneUI 3 beta in favor of plain ol’ TalkBack. So I have a pretty fun job.
Where do you plan to use your new coding skills? Personally/professionally?
I plan to automate some work stuff, and see if I can make a “text checker” that checks for uncapitalized sentances, two spaces after a word, stuff like that that my screen reader doesn’t catch. I’d also love to be able to contribute to my screen reader, NVDA, or any number of accessibility-focused Python stuff, or help make programs accessible. I’d also love to make a game or two. Blind people don’t have many games to play, compared with sighted people, so we’re always looking for more devs. Of course, developing isn’t all game development is, so there’s there.
I’m also on the lookout for ways to improve Codecademy’s accessibility, and have already seen a few improvements, like the switch to Monico! That really helps. For any new blind folks coming to Codecademy, press Alt + F1 when you get into the code editor.
So, I’m glad to be a part of Codecademy, and have gone through the Foundations of coding path, and have started the Python 3 course, and am going to learn about Returns in functions today!