Apple’s Everyone Can Code initiative, which introduces young students to coding through the Swift Playgrounds iPad app, is coming to several schools across the US that support students with vision, hearing, and other assistive needs, the company announced today. Eight schools will be participating in the initial accessibility push, including schools for the deaf and blind in California, Massachusetts, Texas, Florida, Illinois, and New York.
“Apple collaborated with engineers, educators, and programmers from various accessibility communities to make Everyone Can Code as accessible as possible and will work in close coordination with schools to augment the curricula as needed,” Apple said in its press release. “This will include providing additional tools and resources such as tactile maps to enhance the understanding of coding environments for non-visual learners.” Apple’s VoiceOver screen-reading technology will also play a significant part in making Everyone Can Code more accessible.
Today’s announcement coincides with Global Accessibility Awareness Day. Apple is holding events at several of its corporate locations (Cupertino, Austin, Cork, London) today and says that its retail stores will host accessibility-related events through the remainder of the month. “We created Everyone Can Code because we believe all students deserve an opportunity to learn the language of technology,” said CEO Tim Cook. “We hope to bring Everyone Can Code to even more schools around the world serving students with disabilities.” Swift Playgrounds has been praised as a fun, intuitive way to get kids coding, but The Verge’s Paul Miller recently explored whether it’s enough to prepare them for making actual software.
Stop breadboarding and soldering – start making immediately! Adafruit’s Circuit Playground is jam-packed with LEDs, sensors, buttons, alligator clip pads and more. Build projects with Circuit Playground in a few minutes with the drag-and-drop MakeCode programming site, learn computer science using the CS Discoveries class on code.org, jump into CircuitPython to learn Python and hardware together, TinyGO, or even use the Arduino IDE. Circuit Playground Express is the newest and best Circuit Playground board, with support for CircuitPython, MakeCode, and Arduino. It has a powerful processor, 10 NeoPixels, mini speaker, InfraRed receive and transmit, two buttons, a switch, 14 alligator clip pads, and lots of sensors: capacitive touch, IR proximity, temperature, light, motion and sound. A whole wide world of electronics and coding is waiting for you, and it fits in the palm of your hand.
Have an amazing project to share? The Electronics Show and Tell is every Wednesday at 7pm ET! To join, head over to YouTube and check out the show’s live chat – we’ll post the link there.