I was a “computer geek” before the term was coined but I knew, early on, that I wanted broad career experience. As one of the first women doctorates in Computer science, I subsequently worked in research and management in software engineering and technology transfer at Duke U., NASA, NSF, ISI Information Sciences Institute, Wang Institute, MCC, and Embry-Riddly u. That’s experience in government, industry, and academia with stints in self-employment, parenting, unemployment, and now semi-retirement and social entrepreneurship. Apparently, on my wish list for life opportunities, I forgot to uncheck the box on Disability because I’m also now legally blind from myopic retinal degeneration.
I caught the podcast listening bug in late 2004 and have used podcasts and RSS to replace news, magazines, technical pubs, and TV. Fortuitously, I stumbled onto the channels of Internet radio podcasters who distribute invaluable demonstrations, reviews, interviews, and inspiration. Adding to visits to assistive technology exhibits at CSUN and the “#accessibility water cooler” on Twitter, I’ve been able to guide my self-rehabilitation and meet my vision education needs.
Good thing I’ve been able to self-rehab as vision resources in my locality (Prescott Arizona) have gone downhill from “not very much” since my vision dipped away in 2006. This blog started as an exercise in learning to write and express myself and morphed into a soapbox on both unsolicited professional advice on accessibility and advocacy for attention to disability services locally.
I’ve been a lifelong learning student since 2008 at Yavapai College OLLI (Osher Lifelong Learning Institute( where I also facilitate classes in social media, the Internet, science debates, and the coming Singularity, see YC OLLI Asks course website. I offer a workshop “Using Things That Talk” on screen readers, synthetic speech, book reading, iPhone apps, and odd devices.
My favorite career project was an empirical study of “Do Search Engines Suppress Controversy?” and searches into the Analytic Web. Try out this simple search form at Controversy Discovery Engine if you want to search Google for more in-depth and sometimes fractious content.
I hope other macular degenerates, pathological myopes, and any type of Vision Loser will come with me on this journey and share their experiences in the forum.
Susan L. Gerhart
July 2007 updated May 2013
Over here is a more traditional biography .