Disclaimer: This may be off-topic. I'm new to Stack Exchange and uncertain where to post this, but I need help. Stack Overflow was my first thought, but they seem strict on posting guidelines, and this is a question about navigating the professional landscape.

I'm a blind 3rd-year computer science major in college. I've been studying OOP languages like C++/Java and focussing on software engineering up until now. I'm becoming more interested in front end web development. Specifically user side web and app design.

My question is: is it even slightly possible for a blind person to work as a front end web developer? That is, are there specific day-to-day job function of a front end web developer that would be impossible for a blind person to accomplish? What about things like wire frames and mock ups? How necessary are those on the day to day? Would it be enough to simply understand what the client wants and know how to write that out in code - or do I absolutely have to 'see' the results of my code? Or is there a team culture that would lend itself to my team mates lending me their eyes to confirm that my code is producing the desired visual effect/layout - or would that be an unreasonable burden to place on my team mates?

I had vision for 22 years - so I know what things look like, understand visual layout, format, and color schemes. So I do understand what the things I would be building would look like.

  • Is it possible? Sure. How you are going to find a company willing to give you the chance to do it I have no Idea and can not imagine a company that would unless you have a track record of success with it. – IDrinkandIKnowThings Apr 13 '17 at 15:09
  • I'm not sure if you'd find a company or not. Some companies may not want to take the risk. I guess if you're already developing then clearly you're capable but you'd need to prove it to them. – user66194 Apr 13 '17 at 15:18
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    Hm, possibly you can offer expertise to teams that build front ends that have to conform to EU regulations about accessibility? Or for similar regulations in other places? – AllTheKingsHorses Apr 13 '17 at 15:20
  • There was a programmer some years ago that lost his hands, so the company hired him a typist. Unfortunately, he had decades of experience and was probably the best programmer at the company. I don't think you could reasonably expect a company to hire you and a "seeing eye human" when you have no real experience, and they have other potential candidates that can do the job by themselves. – jhbh Apr 13 '17 at 16:06
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    Not sure if this is worth an answer, but there is someone who's blind and works with the web. Not to mention she is on a W3C Working Group (WG) – Robert Dundon Apr 13 '17 at 16:42

Target accessibility compliant web applications and you would excel in a niche there. 508 compliant (USA) and other standards for elsewhere but, compliance is for the impaired usability and would require development specs to align with things like screen readers and such. If you approach it that way then you would benefit as you can legitimately say it's able to be utilized by a blind person and is accessibility compliant.

There will always be some usability issues such as appearance which you can't do without being able to see, so if it's not 508 compliant then you have a severe disadvantage on gui design. I think it's still possible if you have a valid css to work with, but some of the more dynamic functionalities are not necessarily 508 compliant and thus even if you code them in the back side, you can't see them work. Back end code and functionality should work fine though.

Kudos to you for pushing forward in what you want to do despite having blindness! That is inspiration to everyone!

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