I live in a dark silent world. Born deaf. Gone blind. I have what is known as congenital deafblindness. My condition is referred to as Usher Syndrome, which has affected how I have seen and heard since birth. It is a progressive autosomal recessive disorder where my hearing and sight have deteriorated over time to such a point that my communication, mobility, and ability to access information has been impacted. Deafblindness is often referred to as dual sensory loss. Being deafblind is a completely different condition to sight loss plus hearing loss.
I have given this project the codename “Mogwai” after the small, magical creature known as “Gizmo” in the 1984 film, “Gremlins”. Gizmo is a sobriquet that I have gone by ever since the mid-eighties. Not because of the geeky connotation, at least not back then. It came about because of the character’s well-known refrain “Bright light. Bright light.”
I have been a programmer for more than forty years now and I have written code in lots of different places and on a lot of different platforms. My first lines of code were written in BASIC on a Texas Instrument TI-99/4, the world’s first 16-bit home computer. In the years that followed I continued to learn new programming and scripting languages. My web development journey began in the mid-nineties before the war of the browsers. To this day, I continue to sharpen my programming skills and improve my computing knowledge by using the most current technologies available today.
My enthusiasm to become a better software engineer fuels me in the pursuit of many interests, hobbies, areas of study, and creative endeavours. I am easily inspired and follow my curiosities wherever they lead me. I am never satisfied to just come up with ideas, I need to act on them.
## The world at his fingertips
I am accessing the world of programming with an assistive technology stack. I use a keyboard, screen reader, and refreshable braille display to control and navigate in my computer in addition to connecting to the internet and the world-wide-web. I spend most of my time in the development cubicle sat in front of the braille terminal working on one of my many projects. The cubicle is affectionately known as the dungeon. The dungeon is a refuge for me, it is a place where I am curiously content in my own dark silent world.
Over the years I have used many different computer platforms. Some have been proprietary software platforms; others have been open-source Unix-like operating systems. My current development workstations are running Windows, Ubuntu, Arch Linux, and Slint.