February 2019 - Recently, Apple released new coding curricula called Everyone Can Code (ECC) which is compatible with Apple’s programming language Swift. Everyone Can Code is designed for students from kindergarten to college, and beyond, with visual, hearing, and physical disabilities.
ECC’s curricula teaches students with disabilities how to read and write code. Portions of the curricula utilize puzzles solving and allow students to control characters to build their first iOS app. Also included in the coding curricula package are “pre” lessons designed to familiarize non-visual learners with coding environments and increase their understanding of the coding system. These resources include Coding Concepts Video in American Sign Language, Accessible Learn to Code 1 & 2 Teacher Guide, Swift Playgrounds Tactile Puzzle Worlds, and tactile maps.
Apple’s team coordinated with educators from the deaf and blind communities as well as engineers and programmers with different accessibility communities. The development of this program includes accessibility features such as FaceTime, LED Flash for Alerts, Mono Audio, Switch Control and Made for iPhone hearing aids. The programming language is also compatible with VoiceOver for people with visual impairment.
By increasing the number of non-visual and hearing impaired learners who can utilize the Swift coding, it opens the doors for these students to have future opportunities and careers in the technology field. [Sources: Telecommunications for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing, Inc.; Apple, Inc.]