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kyotofu28
kyotofu28

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From Deaf to Dev: A Story about a Deaf Person Learns to Code

For most people,teaching yourself how to code hard.

For me,my self-taught journey is a story with some extra spice, because I am deaf. About me: I’m Wen, I’m in my mid-thirties, and I’m from Taiwan. I work at a quality control department at manufacturing company by day and I learn how to code by night. I have been learning how to code for 3 months. Compared to other people, my journey is still green, but I would like to share how a deaf person tries her best to beat the odds to get into this industry.

Why I want to learn how to code

First of all:

I want to gain the control of my life. I have been working for this company for two and half years. Within this period of time, I’ve witnessed several pink slips flying around, which makes me think what I really want to do in my life. Before this job, I worked six different jobs and I have a certificate in baking. But those things are not secured. As a deaf person in Taiwan, my options are much less than the average people, not to mention the environment is not friendly enough toward people with special needs, either. I want to do something that can let me regain the control of my life, not being controlled by others.

Second:

if I know how to code, I might be able to do something for people like me. One of the apps inspires me is AVA can watch video.
The founder of Ava, Thibault Duchemin, is the only hearing member of his family and with the sign language as his mother tongue. He wants to build something to break the barriers for people with special needs. He and his team establish the fastest captioning app for the deaf community and allow them to enjoy the conversations like anyone else. However, this app is only available in the U.S., and it doesn’t support Chinese.
This makes me think maybe I can do something for people like me by coding, especially for people with different native languages.

& AVA

How I Learn

Please note that English is my second language and I’m still learning English myself. When I watch tutorials, I have to slow down the video speed so I can keep up with the English captions as much as I can. Rewinding the videos several times is a must. While taking courses in school, I wear hearing aid and I read lips, but those can only help me understand about 40% of the lectures.I still have to rely on transcribers to put down the words on papers or type on mobile phone for me to read, and they are expensive.

My main learning materials are Free Code Camp, Udemy, SoloLearn, Egghead, and YouTube. Most of them have captions in the tutorial videos and some have written materials for me to read. However, it is still not easy. Imagine learning the both written and programming languages at the same time. Of course, there are tutorials in Chinese, but I really want to use English to communicate with people from other countries.

As I said earlier, my journey of learning how to code just begins, but I know there are many people with all kinds of backgrounds and needs are also trying to learn how to code. I am hoping my sharing can let people know you still can do it while deaf. At least, I know someone still composed the greatest music in the world without normal hearing, and his name is Beethoven. If you know someone who is like me or you have other resources to help me learn, please don’t hesitate to contact me. Welcome to follow My Twitter😄

Let's break the barriers to make a better world!😉

I Love You ASL

//* Anusha Lee I'm thankful, Because she willing help me modify my English content, Thankful for you.*//🙏

Discussion (18)

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truls1502 profile image
Truls S. Yggeseth

I am deaf too! Welcome to the programming world. I have done with programming for over ten years and still learning a lot. It took me many years to get a programming job since all that I have done is self-learning and voluntary work. If you have any question, please reach to me! :)

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ossia profile image
Quincy Larson

Thanks for sharing your story, Anusha and Truls. It is extra inspiring to me, since you are also doing so much of your self-teaching using the English language.

A big proportion of the developer community is deaf (one of our moderators is deaf and lives not far from me here in Texas). This is something we are conscious of when we make design decisions within freeCodeCamp.

One problem you may have noticed is that our longer YouTube videos don't have subtitles. YouTube won't auto-caption videos that are longer than 4 hours - and most of ours are. We are actively working on a way to get captions on these, but for now we are doing much of this manually.

If you all have any suggestions for how we can make freeCodeCamp more accessible, I would welcome your ideas.

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Anusha Lee

Hi Truls and Quincy,

Thank you very much! Actually, this is Wen's article. I help her revise most part of her writing. As to the caption, MicroSoft Word has a speech recognition or speech to text converter. My Word is Chinese version so I don't know what it exactly called in English. The icon is a microphone. Perhaps this will solve the issue. youtube.com/watch?v=qqEUVbDmYgc Here's the video about the setup.

Anusha

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kyotofu28 profile image
kyotofu28 Author

Anusha Thank your help!😄

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kyotofu28 profile image
kyotofu28 Author

Thank you😃This is me really never thought that someone leave a message,this is big surprise.Yes,YouTube no subtitles are a lot of trouble,if you can segment 1/2/3 maybe there subtitles to watch.

I wish Freecodecamp YouTube can teach about how to step by step build App,currently I'm read React,let me know what is React and any element,still not yet try build small App.

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kyotofu28 profile image
kyotofu28 Author

Thank you!No problem!How do you communication with your colleague or your team?👀

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rootchips profile image
Roslan Saidi

You're not alone. I'm half-deaf coder. :D Keep it up!

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rootchips profile image
Roslan Saidi

Half-death? Seriously? 🤔

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kyotofu28 profile image
kyotofu28 Author

wow,Deaf there are innate and acquired,you may be the acquired.

Do you will use sign language? Or speak??😬

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kyotofu28 profile image
kyotofu28 Author

Good,I'm happy know myself isn't alone.😊

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kristijankanalas profile image
Kristijan Kanalaš

It's really a touching story, I sincerely hope for your success. I'm not sure what field you're studying but I am open to helping you somehow, so feel free to contact me here or on twitter @Kristijan994 if you need help.

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kyotofu28 profile image
kyotofu28 Author

Thank you!I'm still in the React learning now.😄

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emma profile image
Emma Goto 🍙

Good luck!

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kyotofu28 profile image
kyotofu28 Author

Thank you!😃

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Giorgio Bertolotti

I wish you the best luck! 😁💪

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kyotofu28 profile image
kyotofu28 Author

Thank you very much!😄

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C. Pure

Great article Wen and best of luck! I’m cheering for you 🤗✨