Renate developed a keen interest in computer technologies when using specialised computer equipment (braille display) during tertiary studies. This inspired her to undertake further study, and in 1991 she completed application programming at Informatica Drenthe, in the Netherlands.
As one of the first blind students to undertake this course, Renate was asked to write the manual for adapting learning materials for blind computer students.
In 1992, Renate commenced working for Pink Elephant. Renate spent five years as a first and second line Dos and Windows support engineer, and provided first line Unix support. Since 1997, she has been a Unix Support Engineer, providing first, second and third line Unix support working on site at Shell Oil in Leidschemdan. Renate has managed Sun, IBM and Linux systems and has been involved in writing and maintaining IT documentation.
Whilst working at Pink Elephant, Renate has studied a range of courses to maintain and improve her skill levels. She has completed the IT Service Management Essentials course, Unix Basics, and Unix System Management. Renate believes "working in the IT business gives blind people the opportunity to do their job at their own level. You have to do a lot of extra work to keep informed about new developments but that makes it more interesting".
Renate participated in the panel that discussed Fixing an Existing Website and in the Future Directions forum..