Submission for TartanHacks 2019 – An IDE for blind and visually impaired developers using audio input/output, navigation commands, and user-friendly debugging.

Why we built it

With over 285 million visually impaired/blind people around the world and software engineering projected to be the fastest growing industry, it is important to us that anybody and everybody has the ability to code.

Developers use various IDEs (integrated development environments) to code their projects. Currently, visually impaired and blind developers can use often-expensive and slow screen readers to read every character on the screen and code that way, but that presents several hurdles. Debugging means having to scan through lines of gibberish to isolate one line. Reading your means a lot of trial-and-error to read through each line until you find what you need.

How we built it

Technology: HTML/CSS/Javascript, Node.js, Microsoft Azure

Using Azure's speech-to-text technology and our own Natural Language Processing, we're able to adapt to the user's vocal or text input to provide many commands that allow them to traverse and write their code.

Features of our program

  • Allows the user to easily travel to any line and read it out loud
  • Analyzes our user's errors to instantly identify major issues and broken lines
  • Uses several voice/text commands to navigate code faster
  • Implements a modular checkpoint system to save important locations in our user's code
  • Designed with high-contrast and large text for optimal visibility and clarity

Future Direction

Add more programming languages. Add more commands to traverse and write code. Implement the IDE as a full-service downloadable compiler.


Current commands:

Read current line
Read current line exact
Read line <number>
Read this block

Go to line <number>
Go to end of line <number>

Make a checkpoint <name>
Go to checkpoint <name>

Save file (as <name>)
Read exact error
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