Apple brings ‘Everyone Can Code’ to schools serving blind and deaf students across the U.S.

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.

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, in a statement. “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 groundbreaking 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.

Initial list of participating schools:

• 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 (Winetka, 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, in a statement. “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 in a statement, “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.”

Julie Tye, president and CEO of the Hadley Institute for the Blind and Visually Impaired added, “As the largest educator within the visually impaired community, Hadley knows firsthand how important Apple’s technology is in making daily living easier and more enjoyable. Now, partnering with Apple, we are excited to help even more people learn how to code. Whether for fun or future employment, learning the language of technology can offer tremendous opportunity to everyone.”

The Everyone Can Code curricula is compatible with VoiceOver, the most advanced screen-reading technology for people who are blind or low vision. VoiceOver is a gesture-based screen reader that describes nearly everything happening on your screen, and is the most popular screen-reading technology of any mobile technology platform1. With VoiceOver integration, Swift Playgrounds can take students step-by-step through learning Swift, all without needing to see the screen.

Accessibility features for people who are deaf or hard of hearing include FaceTime for capturing every gesture and facial expression, Type to Siri, closed captions, LED Flash for Alerts, Mono Audio and Made for iPhone hearing aids.

iPad and Everyone Can Code can also be used by students with physical motor limitations through Apple’s built in Switch Control, which enables switches, joysticks and other adaptive devices to control what is on your screen.

Global Accessibility Awareness Day

In recognition of Global Accessibility Awareness Day on May 17, Apple is hosting events around the world to promote inclusive design and emphasize how technology can support all people with disabilities.

Throughout May, all Apple stores will host accessibility-related events and sessions for customers. On May 17 Apple corporate locations in Cupertino, Austin, Cork and London will also hold events. Since 2017, Apple has held over 10,000 accessibility sessions across the globe.

Source: Apple Inc.

MacDailyNews Take: Congrats to Apple’s newest “Everyone Can Code” partners!

Ahead of Global Accessibility Awareness Day, Apple seeks to ‘take disability out of the equation’ – May 14, 2018
Apple’s HomePod will support VoiceOver, other accessibility features – July 28, 2017
Apple wins kudos for accessibility and smart home tech empowering people with disabilities – May 18, 2017
Apple continues to lead in accessibility awareness and innovation – May 19, 2016
How a simple Apple feature is changing lives – July 28, 2015
How the Apple Watch is opening up new ways to communicate – May 20, 2015
You know, blind people can actually use touchscreens – January 29, 2015
iPad app brings Braille keyboard to blind users’ fingertips – January 24, 2015
Apple patent applications reveal In-App features, fingerprint scanning enrollment and accessibility inventions – July 31, 2014
OS X Mavericks: How to control your Mac with your voice – April 9, 2014
Can Apple help make hearing aids cool? – March 10, 2014
Apple files new patents relating to haptics, Thunderbolt, iSight and improved accessibility for the hearing impaired – August 23, 2012
Inside Apple’s OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion: New iOS-style Accessibility – July 18, 2012
Stevie Wonder thanks Steve Jobs, praises Apple for iOS accessibility – September 15, 2011
Good news for music fans with vision loss: Apple adds accessibility features to iPod nano and iTunes – September 18, 2008


    1. Can’t you read the heading? ‘Everyone Can Code’ is across Apple’s Home nation. That covers everyone, at least from their perspective. The rest of the world, well once they build that wall they’ll be able to pretend it doesn’t exist.

  1. And yet, Xcode still sucks with voiceover, and a blind person would have to know a lot about the quirks of Xcode to use all that. See those fansy “next” and “previous” things in the beginner courses? We blind folk only read the actual markup code, and have to actually navigate to the next section manually. Also, VoiceOver doesn’t tell you if a word in code is capitalized or not, which is aweful with case-sensitive Swift. So you have to arrow letter by letter and try to find the miscapitalized word, or letter.Seriously, Apple is losing steam. And I want everyone on Global Accessibility Day to realize that Apple’s accessibility efforts are far from unique nowadays.

    Devin Prater Assistive Technology Instructor certified by World Services for the Blind JAWS certified


    1. FileMaker Inc. is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Apple, and much of the product has added accessibility features. However, the Relationship Graph, which is a necessary component in developing almost ANY FileMaker solution, is a complete blackbox when it comes to accessibility. It essentially does not exist. This is where tables are linked together and, while the interface is a graphic one, much of it can be navigated, viewed, and even created/edited using keyboard shortcuts. If it was made accessible to the normal Accessibility features of macOS, blind or visually impaired users would be able to work with it reasonably well. I’m hoping FileMaker makes that change soon. I’m not visually impaired myself, but accessibility is the right thing to do, and makes things better for everyone.

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