Title: Making Education More Accessible for Blind Children Using Touchscreens
Advisor: Richard Ladner
Supervisory Committee: Richard Ladner (Chair), Katherine Steele (GSR, ME), Steve Tanimoto, James Fogarty, and Andy Ko (iSchool)
Abstract: Many digital educational tools for elementary school-aged children are highly visual in nature. While using graphics as opposed to purely text can make the applications more appealing and easier to use for children that are developing literacy skills, it also makes them largely inaccessible for blind children. For my dissertation, I propose using touchscreen devices such as smartphones and tablets to make two kinds of educational applications, early literacy and early programming, accessible to blind children. In my previous work, I explored using the spatial layout of a smartphone to create games to teach Braille characters using haptic and audio feedback. In my current and future work, I am studying how to make block-based programming languages, used to teach programming concepts to children, and their accompanying output accessible to blind children using touchscreens.