Examining Coding Applications for Accessibility

The considerations outlined below include those that should be considered within the design interface as well as instructional supports, such as pre-teaching, scaffolded instruction and adapted resources.

General Information

  • Name of Application:

  • Cost:

  • Website:

  • Device Requirements:

  • Student needs to consider:

    • Reading
    • Writing
    • Cognitive
    • Visual perception
    • Fine motor

Accessibility Considerations

Think about each of the following potential barriers and how inaccessible they make this application for your student. Rate the severity of the barrier (0-5)

Reading Potential Barriers

  • There are text instructions that require reading (i.e. are not presented auditorily or supported by images).
  • Text is used to label/categorize and is not accessible auditorily or supported by images.
  • There is challenging vocabulary that is not explained.
  • There are tooltips/hints that require reading (i.e. are not presented auditorily or supported by images).

Writing Potential Barriers

  • Students are required to type correctly spelled commands in order to carry out tasks.

Cognitive Potential Barriers

  • Students are required to store information and recall it later to carry out a task.
  • Students are required to follow a large number of steps sequentially that are not broken down.
  • Students are required to have an understanding /prior knowledge of certain concepts in order to carry out tasks. (i.e. left/right, sequencing)
  • Students are required to follow fast-paced instructions.
  • Students are required to follow instructions that are provided auditorily but not visually.
  • Students are required to navigate across multiple screens.

Visual Perceptual Potential Barriers

  • Students are required to have good spatial awareness to carry out the task.

Fine Motor Potential Barriers

  • Students are required to move items seamlessly using a small, single point of contact (i.e. finger)
  • Students are required to manipulate small objects in close proximity.
  • Students are required to effectively use a mouse (i.e. for scrolling, clicking, and dragging)
  • Students are required to perform complex gestures to carry out tasks. (i.e. pinch, 3 finger tap)
  • Students are required to put together small pieces of machinery.
  • Students are required to use small tools.
  • Students use alternate access devices for keyboard and mouse functions.

Potential Solution Ideas

Reading

  • Text to speech tools
  • Dictionary tools
  • Word wall with symbols
  • Colour coding

Writing

  • Word prediction tool
  • Speech input tool
  • Option cards
  • Partner assisted scanning
  • Alternate keyboard

Cognitive

  • Visual step by step sequences
  • Checklists
  • Anchor activity
  • Picture supports
  • Guided practice
  • Repetition with variety
  • Adapt physical materials
  • Provide replicas of materials to isolate concepts

Visual Perceptual

  • Anchor activity
  • Visual replicas of materials to isolate concepts
  • Manipulatives (i.e. ribbon, blocks, stickers)
  • Directionality- bridge the gap between person and objects through physical orientation (i.e. identifying left/right of an object facing a different direction)
  • Adapt abstract materials to make them more concrete

Fine Motor

  • Use of stylus
  • Modifications of selection tool
  • Adjustment of accessibility settings
  • Gesture creation
  • Use of external alternate access devices
  • Partner assisted scanning
  • Modification/adaptation of concrete manipulatives

NOTE: Be sure to check the compatibility of a student’s current support products with the coding application(s) being considered. Also, consider whether the use of the products requires instruction prior to expecting them to support coding instruction.

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