UNT Computer Science Curriculum Helps Visually Impaired Students Learn

During Computer Science Education Week, the White House noted the UNT program among other inclusive computer science programs around the country.

computer science

University of North Texas professor Stephanie Ludi has developed a curriculum specifically designed to help visually impaired students learn computer science skills. 

Most computer science programs currently in practice favor being able to see, Ludi said. Being visually impaired herself, she knows that can present a struggle. 

“As an undergraduate I had the usual difficulties of learning about what computer science was,” Ludi said in a release. “However, they were compounded with the extra issues of trying to follow lectures and labs due to not being able to see the board.”

Using her experience and understanding of the issue, Ludi created a curriculum to accommodate students like her.

“As part of our work, we have carefully identified web resources and designed the software tools to help these students explore computer science. A lot of it is making things accessible with screen reader software that reads what is on the screen,” Ludi said. 

“The biggest hope is to have some impact for teachers to present the curriculum in a more inclusive way and to help kids who want to pursue computer science.” 

Stephanie Ludi

UNT worked in partnership with Perkins School for the Blind and the California School for the Blind to pilot the programming software along with a Glance data analysis tool, and an accessible version of the JavaScript library, Blockly.

Ludi’s work received national notice recently. During Computer Science Education Week, the White House noted the UNT program among other inclusive computer science programs around the country. 

The tips, tricks, and tools Ludi uses are all available for free online to be used by any student.

“The biggest hope is to have some impact for teachers to present the curriculum in a more inclusive way and to help kids who want to pursue computer science,” Ludi said. 


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