Computer Science Resources

Books, Articles and Magazines

  • APH: American Printing House for the Blind. APH sells a wide variety of materials for the blind. Select for APH.APH’s Road to Code: American Printing House. This article describes APH’s coding related productts. The four products described in the article are generally targeted toward elementary and middle school students. The SNAP circuits building kits are suitable for junior high students. Select for Road to Code article.Coding With Mantis Q40: American Printing House. This article describes the advantages of using a braille display. Select for Coding with Mantis.
  • Bookshare: An Accessible Online Library for people with print disabilities. Their are over 1,000,000 books available. Many books on languages, operating systems, networking and other computer technologies are available. Membership for U.S. Students: FREE. Membership for U.S. Non students: $50/year. Select for BookShare.
  • Learning Ally: Audiobooks for Dyslexia & Learning Disabilities. Unlimited access to 80,000+ human read audiobooks. Annual membership: $135 Phone: (800) 221-4792 Select for Learning Ally.
  • NBP National Braille Press. NBP sells a number of useful books and reference cards for PC, Mac, IOS and Android users. Select for National Braille Press.
  • NFB-NEWSLINE®: National Federation of the Blind. NFB-NEWSLINE® is a free service that provides newspapers, magazines and other information to BLV persons and those who are print disabled. The following four computer magazines are available; Access World, Information Week, Mac Journal and PC World. The following magazines may also be of interest; Discover Online, MIT Technology, Popular Science and Science News. Select for NFB-NEWSLINE®.
  • NLS: National Library Service for the Blind and Print Disabled (NLS) Library of Congress. NLS produces the magazine PC World in braille. The following site contains information for locating a regional library, reference pamphlets on equipment and sources for transcribing and recording materials. Select for NLS
  • Access Technology Institute, LLC – Computer Training for the Blind and Visually-Impaired. Both textbooks and training courses are available. Select for Access Tech Institute.
  • Techvision is a company founded by Denise Robinson Ph.D that provides training tailored towards BLV persons. The training lessons teach BLV persons how to use a wide variety of common PC applications. The applications include but are not limited to; Microsoft Word, Outlook, Powerpoint and Excel. There are also lessons on Internet, IOS, Google, Screen Readers, and others. Select for the Your Techvision.
  • Tutorials Point. Tutorials Point offers both paid and free tutorials. A number of computer languages and web design tools are available. Select for Tutorials Point.
  • W3Schools Online Web Tutorials. W3 Schools is a site with many tutorials available. Courses include Python, HTML, CSS, Java, PHP etc. There are free and paid courses. Certifications are also offered. Select for W3 Schools.

Tools for the coder

Tools are needed to access a computer, write code and perform other necessary tasks. Below is information on a variety of accessible tools.

Screen Access Software For Windows

The first tool a BLV coder absolutely needs is screen access software. Listed below are popular screen access software packages.

  • JAWS (Job Access With Speech) has been the leader in screen access software. Freedom Scientific, a Vispero company has been in existance since the 1990s. Freedom Scientific also sells video magnifiers, braille displays and screen magnification software. Select for Freedom Scientific.
  • NV Access is a free package for use on a Windows PC. In the last twelve years, the software has evolved to become a very useful package. “e Quoting from NV Access We believe that every Blind + Vision Impaired person Deserves the right to freely & easily access a computer! We create the software which makes that possible. “e Select for NV Access site.

Code Editors

  • Inclusion Code Markdown and Html editor Select for Inclusion code.
  • Pandoc File conversion. Pandoc is a package that can convert files from one format to another. Possible formats include Word docx, HTML, Latex, MarkDown, XML etc. The main page on the Pandoc site contains links for downloading, documentation and getting started. Select for Pandoc.

Access for Unix/Linux Systems

Linux Systems

There are two Linux systems that have accessibility features included in their builds. The first is Coconut based on the Debian distribution. The second is SLINT which is based on SlackWare. Both systems support both speech and braille.

A bootable Linux system can be written on a USB drive using Etcher. Etcher runs on Windows (7 and above), Mac (Yosemite and above) and various Linux systems.

Information on Various Languages

This section contains information on various coding languages. It is intended to be a starting point. The reader should presume that any language that can be written using a keyboard can be used by a BLV person. Icon based languages that require the use of a mouse will not be accessible. An example of an icon based language is the system used by LEGO® for programming their bricks.

LEGO® bricks can be programmed using Quorum, NXC, Robotc and other languages. Developments in this area are constantly changing.

The C Language Family

C, C++ and C# are related to each other. C++ and C# are descendants of the C language which was created in the 1970s.


Python is a popular fairly easy to learn language. A unique challenge for BLV persons coding Python is that indents from the left margin are part of the language syntax. A block of statements is denoted by the amount of indentation. See the following resources for more information:

The Quorum Language

The Quorum Programming Language. This language was initially developed specifically for use by BLD persons. The quorum language is now used by a wider community. Select for the Quorum language site.

Hour of Code Articles

The Hour Of Code is a nationwide effort to introduce Coding to students. See the following link for more information. Select for The Hour Of Code

Astronomy Hour of Code Activity 1; Quorum Programming Language Select for article.

Hour of Code: Part 1; Quorum Programming Language. Select for article.

Mailing Lists

The following mailing lists provide more information on programming by the BLD.

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