Hi, my name is Supanut Leepaisomboon, but people who knew me called me Nut, which is my nickname.
I was born on February 29th, 1996, in Bangkok, Thailand and have lived here ever since. From my early age, I suffered from visual impairment, which means that I cannot see as well as everyone else. This impacted me in a number of important ways. Firstly, I have to rely on screen reading programs in order to use computers, phones and tablets.
In today’s globalized, ICT-driven world, being able to access these devices is absolutely vital. Though my family was rich enough to buy me computers and a smartphones, the screen reading software that I’ve been using for years, JAWS (Job Access With Speech), was not obtained in a correct way; I.E it was obtained through torrent downloads and such. The primary reason is that this program is horribly expensive for blind people living on middle income in the developing world like me and as such, upgrading the software has always been a major problem as I have to often wait until cracks are available.
I use to study at Thai schools, but then moved to international schools after the first term of grade 2 (year 3), starting with KIS International School, of which I stayed until the end of grade 5 (year 6), before changing schools to Trinity International School during grade 6 (year 7), but were forced to move again due to the rather unfriendly nature of people there.
The school I studied at since then is ST Andrews International School Sukhumvit 71. I stayed here all the way until now, until the end of the International Baccalaureate Diploma Program (IB).
For my future, I originally dreamed of becoming a pilot, but have to change after realizing that it is totally impossible to achieve due to several barriers that cannot be overcome. When first starting university, at Mahidol University International College I dreamed of becoming a programmer, writing programs that is accessible to visually impaired people, hence why I chose Computer Science. But later I came to realize that…given that the software market doesn’t see much growth and that in some segments like antivirus and web browsers barriers to entry is quite high, I decided to give up this dream. Instead I dreamed of starting an organization, a non-profit organization, with the purpose of trying, initially, to push for improvements in accessibility in the digital world (including websites, web content and software), and also to push for the implementation of universal design in all public places like hospitals, schools, universities, etc. The ultimate goal is to push for research and development into technologies that will low people with disabilities to properly study sciences and the arts just like everyone else. This is why I decided to change my major to International Business.