We’ve been working hard to get Code Jumper, an inclusive way to teach computer coding, ready for students who are blind and visually impaired and their sighted peers. That’s why we’re so honored the Consumer Technology Association has awarded us with a highly coveted Best of Innovation Award in the accessibility category!
The tools currently used to teach computer coding to young children are highly visual, using the drag and drop of colored blocks on a screen to create animations. These methods aren’t accessible to children who are blind or visually impaired.
Code Jumper, originally designed by Microsoft and developed by APH, teaches children (ages 7-11), regardless of their level of vision, computer coding skills. Children not only learn basic programming concepts, such as sequencing, iteration, selection, and variables but also learn skills like computational thinking and debugging, which are skills that can serve them in all areas of life.
“Every child should have equal access to the important jobs being created in the technology field. Code Jumper gives them that access and opens a path to a meaningful career,” explains APH CEO, Craig Meador. “We’re excited that CES is giving Code Jumper such a high honor, and sees the importance of the work that Microsoft and APH is doing. We hope to inspire other companies to design products that are inclusive and ensure the future belongs to everyone.”
By connecting together small pods, students can build strands of code to create stories, songs, sound effects, or jokes. The pods’ functions are indicated by color and differently shaped knobs so that students can easily identify each pod by sight or touch.
Testing has shown Code Jumper is just as effective with children who are sighted or have other disabilities as it is with children who are blind or visually impaired. With Code Jumper all students work together – much as they will in the professional world – building skills including confidence, cooperation, and critical thinking.
Code Jumper will go on sale in January 2020, during the CES event. To learn more, visit codejumper.com