All students have the right to learn and pursue careers in computer programming. Every child should receive proper kids code learning to mould their future as successful programmers, software developers, and computer scientists. So, no kid should be left behind, especially kids who are visually impaired.
All children for computer sciences
The world needs lots of support to strengthen the technological advancements of the 21st Century. Even students who have little to no vision are very welcome to start their computer programming journey while young. If they begin today, these kids might proceed to apply all these learnings into more complex systems. These talents should be honed to generate more efficient and innovative results.
Even if they are visually impaired, they can still think, decide, create, and innovate new things. They can enhance their problem-solving skills, logical thinking, teamwork, and creativity while they continue to conquer the kids’ coding classes. With their limitation, visually impaired children are not limited to learn something new!
The United Nations aims for a more conducive learning environment from which any child can begin learning the knowledge and skills they want. They are looking forward to programs that will accommodate all types of learners, including persons with disabilities, kids with vulnerable situations, indigenous people, or all genders. Therefore, a program like coding classes for kids can help students with special needs like visually impaired learners.
Ways to teach coding for kids with visual impairment
There are studies, methodologies, and designed activities for these classes to continue bridging the people, education, and technology. Some of the most common code learning activities kids with little to no vision can enjoy the following:
#1 Prepare a dish or food
A study conducted to reveal tactile teaching on kids’ coding classes used a simple preparation activity. Kids would love to do this fun task as they can learn through following rules and step-by-step instructions. They will also master identifying the first thing to do first before moving on to the following directions. Through this kind of learning activity, they will be able to practise solving algorithms and bugs without losing their temper.
Prepare a dish activity is excellent for younger, visually impaired learners. So, teachers or parents can try baking cookies, preparing a sandwich, or layering pizzas. Let your kids enjoy and learn with an on-hand learning experience.
#2 Condition Cups or Condition Statement Activity
Conditional statement activities are also crucial as kids coding tasks. To teach these lessons to young minds, you may use colourful conditional cups and papers. Both cups must include conditional statements that will test your child’s logic and reasoning skill. In this case, they can understand how conditional statements work in a program.
Visually impaired students can use these cups with papers in braille to read the written statements. Afterwards, they can analyse it on their own.
#3 Giving Directions
A single paper can work to teach visually impaired individuals about coding. The teacher or parent only needs to draw a puzzle on a piece of paper that will lead from start to finish. It should look like a map that is available for tracing. A character or icon is perfect to use as the hero of the learner. Through all the directions you are giving, they will trace it until they reach the finish line.
This activity will teach visually impaired learners to solve problems, follow steps, and look forward to completing something they started.
#4 Sorting Numbers
Programming includes digits or symbols that are coordinated with each other. To enhance the skill of organisation and order, you can do a sorting numbers task. Use papers and attach them to colourful magnets. In this case, visually impaired learners can determine the number and arrange it according to the instructions.
#5 Code and Go Robot Mouse Activity Set
Besides the easy and on-hand materials, you can also use an activity set like the Code and Go Robot Mouse. It is a tactile coding game for children four years old and above and even for students with vision imparity. It will teach them coding logic, mobility, orientation, and math concepts.
Visually impaired learners can raise arrow buttons and click and move the mouse. They can also touch the bright coloured items and press buttons to hear different movement sounds. As they move the mouse, they can again hear if the mouse hits the wall or reach the cheese. Through this, they will track where the cheese is and achieve the game’s goal.
#6 Brown Bear, Brown Bear
A story is also a perfect activity for coding class for kids. One compelling storybook is Going on a Bear Hunt. It includes a route that students must take to achieve their goal. It is only a simple route with seven objects to get. Along with the story is the grid with different characters placed randomly. They are steps to begin for the learner to reach all the items.
Even visually impaired learners can enjoy this activity as they listen carefully to the instructions while imagining the storyline. Other than that, this tactile grind has embossed features for a better gaming experience. There are magnets, arrows, and lines to follow, which will teach students the computer system.
#7 Robot Obstacle Challenges
If you have a robot at home or school, you can try this obstacle challenge for robots. You and your kids can build the obstacle course for this activity. Some use cups, cardboards, pencil cases to create the obstacle course. Then the robot must pass through it successfully. You may also include additional parts to avoid bringing more challenges. Let the visually impaired learners control the robot as they follow the instructions they know. If they pass the obstacle, then it means they follow the rules completely.
#8 Ballyland Code 3 Pick Up
Parents and teachers can also download an application that is great for visually impaired learners. You can find it in the App Store as you search Ballyland Code 3: Pick Up. It is an educational game that will introduce kids coding lessons to visually impaired learners. It involves a grid, codes, cars, frog, flowers, and coins. The players must target a distinct position. It will let them learn coding through audio-based coding systems with no reading skills required.
If you just want your child to learn coding through their gadgets, download this game. Through this, they will improve their listening, memory, location, and mental mapping skills. It will also enhance their computational thinking, following coding commands, sequencing, and breaking down things.
#9 Egg Carton Unplugged Coding Activity
If you prefer your kids to learn without fancy technology, you can try egg cartons with plastic Kinder surprise eggs. You may also include Lego Minifigure or other minor characters they want. To bring more excitement and challenge to the game, use some red or any bright construction paper.
The player must let the Minifigure reach the prize eggs while avoiding the lava rocks. They can move to each space they get the eggs. But first, kids should write to tell the instructions before moving the character. Through this activity, the child will learn how to navigate the icon like a computer. They can plan ahead of the education needed to achieve the goal.
Even though they cannot see the events on this activity, they can still voice out the directions reaching the goal of the game. Through simple steps and instructions, they can complete the course of the game.
#10 Skill Samurai’s Kids Coding and Robotics Classes
Other than the said at home and game set activities, you can also enrol your child on programming classes for kids. Even if they have little to no vision, they can still enjoy and learn the basics of coding through coding and robotics classes like Skill Samurai.
Skill Samurai focuses on fun, exciting, and on-hand coding activities that will give your child tactile and audio experiences. They will receive training from the popular kids’ games while enjoying robots, toys, and other learning materials. Other than that, your child will enhance their STEM skill in Skill Samurai coding classes for kids as it offers science, technology, engineering, and maths lessons and tasks for kids.
Key Ways to Teach Visually Impaired Learners
Among the several tips and suggestions above, teachers and kids coding instructors also need to consider the following learning approaches. Considering this list would help them reach their learners’ understanding, even if they have challenges in vision.
Teaching coding through hearing. Visually impaired students would highly appreciate screen reader software, helping them listen to one text on the computer. The teachers can also provide spoken directions to guide learners throughout the coding class. Additionally, some devices with audible features are beneficial for their learning journey.
Teaching coding through touch. Besides listening, students with visual impairments can also enjoy coding with a tactile writing system. They can try reading Braille materials and even toys they can touch and feel. Besides that, teachers may also provide activities incorporating a sense of touch whilst teaching coding concepts.
Teaching coding with screen-magnification systems. Some visually impaired learners can also use screen magnifiers to see the text and graphics on the monitor. They can use software to provide screen magnification features automatically whilst the learners use this. In this way, they can code and program independently, similar to how kids to code using their gadgets.
Teachers and instructors can also try other materials such as video magnifiers, optical character recognition (OCR) systems, and so on. As long as they are willing to teach all learners, then they can help with their future ahead of these young people.
People with visual impairments and their careers in computer sciences
In Australia, research reveals that there are 575,000 blind or visually impaired individuals. Even younger kids and teens also face these vision challenges. Besides Australia, many countries also have a large number of people with visual problems.
However, it is not a hindrance to finding an exciting life for them. Even if their sense of sight is not working properly, most visually impaired individuals never see it as a weakness. Several individuals with visual impairment still enjoy their careers and job opportunities.
Michael Forzano. He is successful in his career as a software engineer at Amazon. Even though he is blind since birth, he still completed his degree in Computer Science at Binghamton University. He also made it to the top of this industry using his laptop with screen reader software. Through this, he enjoys his lucrative job and announced how empowering it is to not allow his blindness to hold him back.
Dr Abraham Nemeth. He achieved a doctorate in Mathematics. He has incredible intellectual brilliance as he performs well in his career. He even released Nemeth Code which is a considerable part of Braille math coding.
Molly Burke. She is a girl who was diagnosed with a rare eye disease when she was four years old. At the time she became 14, Molly lost her eyesight. Even at a young age, she faced these challenges but she never stopped from being a famous Youtube star and a motivational speaker. She has been inspiring many people, with or without visual impairment, to continue enjoying life and learn how to thrive.
These experiences made them more vital to reach out more to live. They even receive appreciation and recognition from people around the world. Besides these individuals, young people with visual impairments can also make themselves successful. How?
Tech Jobs for Visual Impaired Individuals
Children with visual impairments can pursue careers in computer science. It will help them have a lucrative career even if they have issues with their vision. Here are some of the job opportunities open for them.
Network Engineer. This handles complex networks and routers in various locations.
Applications software developer. This builds and develops computer programs and applications.
Web developers. This caters to user interface designing, backend development, and auditing.
Customer Service representatives. This represents a company to answer queries and solve questions from customers. It usually performs on computers.
Others. Some jobs beyond tech jobs include physical therapists, financial advisors, speech-language pathologists, marketing specialists, counsellors, teachers, etc.
They can still achieve these job positions through the help of technology like screen-readers, screen magnifiers and Braille reading.
How can your child pursue careers in computer science even if they have visual impairments?
Skill Samurai is a code school for kids that welcomes all learners to begin kids coding classes. You may start with the toys, books, and materials. However, kids’ concrete and formal coding classes would help your child master coding at a very young age.
Sign them up now and begin their coding journey with Skill Samurai.