One of the biggest and most developing markets in tech at the moment is coding – the ability to write all of the apps and computer programs that people download and buy each day, be it games or lifestyle applications.
At the moment however, the lack of accessibility of much of the software makes this particularly difficult, if not impossible, for blind and partially sighted children.
And that’s why the RNIB, the UK’s biggest charity for blind and partially sighted people have been working closely with tech giant Apple. The two organisations have been working together as part of its ‘Everyone Can Code’ initiative to make educational resources accessible to blind and partially sighted students. This includes support for Apple’s hit educational app “Swift Playgrounds”, in the form of tactile books that bring the game to life.
David Clarke, Director of Services at RNIB, said recently:
“Every child, including children with visual impairment, should have the opportunity to learn the programming and computer coding skills that are part of the national school curriculum. This is especially important for future participation in the growing digital economy. However, many of the tools and methods used by schools to introduce children to coding are not accessible to all.”
David Clarke is particularly pleased with the outcome:
“We are delighted to have worked with Apple on this project to make their coding education app, Swift Playgrounds, more accessible for children and young people with visual impairment – so that they are able to use the same resources and information as their sighted peers and can fulfil their potential in the digital age.”
I am an absolute geek who loves technology. I also happen to be severely sight impaired and that has meant my journey with new technology has been challenging. What I've learnt is what I want to share with others and I do that on air in the UK on RNIB Connect Radio's weekly Tech Talk radio show and podcast, and on AMI-Audio's Double Tap Canada radio show and podcast. I'm also a very lucky husband and the owner of the world's coolest dog!