“Apple is celebrating Global Accessibility Awareness Day by making coding more inclusive for students across the country,” CEO Tim Cook tweeted out this morning. “Because when we say Everyone Can Code, we mean everyone.”
Accessible coding is coming to select schools beginning this fall:
- 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)
Assistive technologies like VoiceOver permit vision-impaired students to use Swift Playgrounds without needing to see the screen. Students with physical motor limitations can use Swift Playgrounds through Apple’s built-in Switch Control, which enables switches, joysticks and other adaptive devices to control what is on your screen.
Tim Cook said that 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,” he was quote as saying.
The company will be providing additional tools and resources to schools and students, such as tactile maps to enhance the understanding of coding environments for non-visual learners.
Global Accessibility Awareness Day, the 3rd Thursday each May, promotes digital accessibility and inclusion for people with all disabilities. In its celebration, Apple today showcased the key accessibility features in its products through a dedicated webpage.
Since 2017, Apple has held over 10,000 accessibility sessions across the globe.
In March, it donated $250,000 to sponsor an accessibility-focused playground opening soon in Sunnyvale, California. Sarah Herrlinger, Director of Global Accessibility Policy and Initiatives, discussed Apple’s accessibility efforts in a recent interview with CNET.
They’re hosting global events at Apple Stores throughout May to promote inclusive design and emphasize how technology can support all people with disabilities.
Apple’s corporate locations in Cupertino, Austin, Cork and London will also hold events today.