COD

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    The Premier AT Conference

Cracking the Code: Teaching Coding Concepts to the Blind

Description
One of the most common curricula that have found its way into standard offerings throughout today’s educational landscape is learning how to code. Often, coding concepts are introduced in stages. The end result of a particular course is for one to easily create code that can control a specific program with a tangible result. From start to finish, this process can pose significant challenges to a blind student at all stages, from the initial concept learning phase, through the creating and reading of one’s code, to the result being something that the student can meaningfully experience. This presentation will demonstrate how one can use accessible tools to introduce a blind student to coding concepts through tactile pods and introduce methods by which a student can easily write and edit code using a refreshable braille device. Thanks to the introduction of the Code Jumper system initially designed by Microsoft and available from the American Printing House for the Blind, a blind student can learn the basics of block coding through tactual objects that make learning concepts inclusive and straightforward. Attendees will be given an in-depth look at how one can use the fully accessible Code Jumper Android Application to review multiple code sequences simultaneously and how a student can fully interact with the Code Jumper application via refreshable braille. In addition to learning about how one can introduce the concepts of coding, participants will examine a unique program found on the BrailleNote Touch plus that will allow a student to take learned concepts and employ the next step of creating and reviewing code. This natural progression in the learning process will enable students to create code independently while receiving speech and braille feedback. This, in turn, will allow the student to identify any mistakes made during the code creation process thanks to automated tools, thus providing a user with the ability to make any corrections in real-time. Finally, participants will learn about an accessible pocket-sized computer that can run the code a student has created to experience first-hand the successful outcome via audible output.  
Audience
  • Higher Education
  • Information & Communications Technology
  • Disability Specific
  • K-12 Education
  • Research & Development
Audience Level
Beginning  
Session Summary (Abstract)
The process of teaching a blind student how to code can pose significant challenges. This presentation will demonstrate how to use accessible tools to introduce coding concepts and provide attendees with accessible methods by which one can write and edit code using a refreshable braille device.  
Session Type
General Track  
Topics
  • Blind/Low Vision
  • Development
  • Information & Communications Technology (ICT)
  • Product Demonstration

Presenters

  • Andrew Flatres
    HumanWare USA
  • Peter Tucic
    HumanWare USA

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