Visually Impaired

New Method for Visually Impaired Children to learn Coding uses Hands

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Visually impaired children who would love to learn to code now have something to look up to. Project Torino, Microsoft’s approach to teach with a physical programming language incepted four years ago has taken bigger steps. Microsoft’s AI blog in March 2017 carried a story on project Torino. The project dubbed as physical programming language, is a result of research and design by a Microsoft team based in Cambridge, UK. Therefore, it’s a means for kids to physically create code by linking pods to build programs.

Fundamentally, connecting pods involved working with blocks of various shapes. These shapes are suitable to join in patterns, thus making it ideal for the visually impaired. In terms of feedback capabilities, the system releases an audible output in the form of a song or joke upon adjusting the pods or buttons. Further, each pod translates into a line of code.

System paves way for Special Needs Children for Strategic Thinking

The system also aims to place visually impaired kids or, ones with other challenges such as autism or dyslexia on a closer path. Therefore it enables them to become computer scientists and software engineers.

The publication of Project Torino article in 2017 helped it receive acclaim from the Royal National Institute of Blind People. An associate of the institute commented woeful dearth of resources for visually impaired who are interested in coding. Or those who are ready to receive introduction to mathematical and strategic thinking.

The system is possibly useful for all learners, wondered a researcher at the Microsoft team.

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