It’s been a bit, but here’s an update: I got a big girl job!
Yes, can you believe it? Sometimes I can’t, but I show up every day which must count for something!
This summer I’m interning at Nationwide Insurance in downtown Columbus, OH. I’m working in one of the IT sectors, helping develop web applications to be used in public sector (government employees) websites! It isn’t always exciting, because as an intern that’s only been here for about three weeks, I’m still trying to understand how my team operates and where I can fit in. However, I have gotten to do cool things.
As a computer science student who is also legally blind, I know firsthand the benefits of using accessible technology to do virtually anything. On my computer at work, I have a program called ZoomText which magnifies the screen and allows me to see what I’m doing without squinting and straining my eyes more than necessary. On my iPhone, I sometimes use a tool called VoiceOver which reads elements of the screen to me when I can’t see it. Tools like these allow me to be an independently functioning human, and I can answer emails, go on Facebook, code, and participate in life like everyone else. Since my degree is focused in technology, I want to give others the same chance to success as people without disabilities and develop other accessible technologies.
Here at Nationwide, I not only get to experience what it’s like to work for “Corporate America” in a team with other skilled developers, but I’m also getting to explore my passion for accessibility a bit more. Sometimes, websites and applications aren’t compatible with screen readers, and Nationwide is committed to be as accessible as possible. Just yesterday, I had an issue where a screen reader wasn’t reading an important part of the site, so my job was to go into the code where the problem was and add something to it so the screen reader would “see” it and read it out loud. Though this might not be what I end up doing for a living, I’m so excited to be having just a small taste of what working with accessibility could look like.
As always, have a sunshiny day!