The word Disabled with capitalized ‘D’ is what got me into Front-end development. It got me a career because of my frustration with Front-end developers who had no qualms about leaving people who need to use assistive technology behind. Unfortunately being surrounded by abled people all the time made me hide even more my invisible disabilities.
During that time my dyslexia didn’t go anywhere. It was easier to read than when I tried to understand how to compute numbers in computer network which looks like 6D hypercube. Previous sentence sounds like it can short circuit someone’s thinking for a bit. In my case preparing for an exam resulted in having short circuited reading. During that time I had to learn to use screen reader, Apple’s VoiceOver was my first choice because Mac Mini was on my table.
My problems with dyslexia didn’t start at university though. Until university I had the energy to juggernaut through my problems. Looking back it was painful and required two months to recover, so almost no summer jobs for me.
After three years of working in corporate environments where I felt the need not to make my invisible disabilities visible, my need for assistive technology has been rising again. It means relearning how to use screen reader because my Mac Mini is retired and thanks to NVDA Apple’s computers lost their edge.
With starting to use screen reader again more visibly, it will be a challenge to advocate for myself. Unfortunately we don’t live in a society where Disability is considered as shades of grey. We live in a world where ability to stand up while using wheel chair can be the reason for meme-fication and ridicule by strangers. That’s something which worries me a lot.
All this means that my next career steps will go back to my accessibility roots and they will be more intentional than making things here and there more accessible.
Fun fact: when I purchased a manual for NVDA, my bank blocked my card because it looked suspicious 😀