About one out of every 200 software developers is blind. We know this because Stack Overflow asked 64,000 developers about this a few months ago.
The question is: how can blind developers code when they can’t see the screen?
freeCodeCamp contributor Florian Beijers was born blind. He’s able to code using a standard-issue laptop. He uses a piece of software called a screen reader. With it, he can select a line of text or code, and hear its contents read back to him at hundreds of words per minute. He wrote an article explaining how he’s able to code while blind.
“How I code doesn’t actually differ all that much from how [sighted developers] code. I’ve learned how to touch type, and mentally conceptualize my code so that I can work with it just like you guys do. The only difference is that I barely ever use a mouse for anything. I tend to stick with hotkeys and the command line instead.” — Florian Beijers
And yesterday, Microsoft published a video about how one of their developers is able to program using a screenreader and the Visual Studios code editor. As a sighted developer who stares at screens for much of my waking life, I found this video incredibly impressive and inspiring: (7 minute watch)
These are just two of the many developers out there who have figured out ways to code productively despite blindness. I hope this inspires you to keep coding despite whatever setbacks you face, and to encourage other people to do the same.