Milwaukee Journal Sentinel honors CDIS alum John Boyer ’82

John Boyer works at his desk while his guide dog, Sugar, waits nearby. Photo by: Jack Schroeder

When John Boyer tried signing up for a service dog training program, staff denied him entry because their instructional materials were made for the blind but not the deaf. Boyer ticked both of those boxes, having been born blind and losing most of his hearing by the time he was 10 years old.

In 1982 Boyer earned a master’s degree in computer science at UW–Madison. Unable to find enough Braille books to read, Boyer developed a software program that converts written text into Braille to satisfy his scientific curiosity. 

His work dramatically expanded educational and employment access for the blind.

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