Apple Brings Coding to Blind, Deaf Students

Students from the Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired take part in a Swift Playgrounds session.

Students from the Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired take part in a Swift Playgrounds session.

Apple is teaming up with leading educators for blind and deaf communities across the US to bring accessible coding to their schools. Beginning this fall, schools supporting students with vision, hearing or other assistive needs will start teaching the Everyone Can Code curricula for Swift, Apple’s powerful and intuitive programming language.

The schools include California School for the Blind and California School for the Deaf which are located in Fremont.

Apple created the comprehensive Everyone Can Code curricula so students from kindergarten to college and beyond can learn and write code using Swift. With teacher guides and lessons, students learn the basics on iPad with Swift Playgrounds which lets you use real code to solve puzzles and control characters with just a tap, to App Development with Swift to help aspiring app developers build their first iOS apps.

“Apple’s mission is to make products as accessible as possible,” said Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO. “We created Everyone Can Code because we believe all students deserve an opportunity to learn the language of technology. We hope to bring Everyone Can Code to even more schools around the world serving students with disabilities.”

The schools will tailor lessons using Apple’s accessibility technology, which has changed the lives of millions of people with vision, hearing, physical motor, cognitive or other assistive needs. 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. This will include providing additional tools and resources such as tactile maps to enhance the understanding of coding environments for non-visual learners.

Here is the initial list of participating schools provided by Apple:

California School for the Blind (Fremont, CA)
California School for the Deaf (Fremont, CA)
District 75/Citywide Programs, New York City Department of Education (New York, NY)
Florida School for the Deaf and the Blind (St. Augustine, FL)
Hadley Institute for the Blind and Visually Impaired (Winnetka, IL)
Perkins School for the Blind (Watertown, MA)
Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired (Austin, TX)
Texas School for the Deaf (Austin, TX)

“Our students were tremendously excited at our first Everyone Can Code session earlier this year,” said Bill Daugherty, superintendent at the Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired in Austin. “There are more than 10,400 students with visual impairments in Texas, and the development of this curricula is going to be a big step in opening up coding opportunities for our students and those across the nation.”

California School for the Deaf superintendent Clark Brooke said, “We’re thrilled to kick off the partnership with Apple. This program is a great way to bring to life the ideas and imagination of our Deaf students through coding, while also building a foundation for future careers in software development and technology.”