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Is it easy or hard for blind people to trade bitcoin if they have the appropriate assistive technology? It is easy or hard for blind people to work at tasks involving bitcoin such as utilizing computers for mining, or confirming transactions on the blockchain?

What kinds of technologies would they likely find beneficial?

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  • I'm confused what you're asking. "Mining" and "confirming transactions" aren't work that humans do. They are just certain computations done by certain specialized computer hardware. Are you asking whether it is feasible for blind people to set up such hardware? Commented Feb 2, 2017 at 3:24
  • @NateEldredge: Yes, that's what I meant.
    – Tom Au
    Commented Feb 2, 2017 at 4:01

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The short of it is Bitcoin already has a subpar reputation for user experience, and it doesn't get better as you dig into accessibility. Hopefully the Bitcoin community can draw on accessibility solutions as general standards to improve UX as things evolve.

More specifically, the frequent use of QR codes by wallets is the biggest non-blind-friendly user flow that comes to mind. I did some searching around and it looks like there is work being done on the non-Bitcoin specific task of improving accessibility for QR codes. It seems like individual Bitcoin wallet companies in the past have taken a stab at addressing the issue, but I don't know of universal standards that have emerged.

On the flip side, the question asks about mining and confirming transactions, which I believe would not really be much more difficult. Mining has nothing to do with user interaction. Setting up the hardware seems like the biggest hurdle, and I imagine if you are already comfortable setting up building towers and putting together hardware, Bitcoin specific hardware would not be significantly worse... but I am definitely not an expert there.

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Screen reader software needs to be able to easily copy and paste backup phrases due to writing them down unless you use a brailler, which not everyone can get, is not accessible. I used my braille note taker and used my screen reader on my PC to spell out the words and copy them down into a Wordpad file on my note taker, since braille isn't a language that most people know. It's not the kind of thing I worry about hackers being able to get their hands on since my note taker can't even get online.

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