Microsoft tech teaches children who are blind how to code
Helen is looking for her friends.
She thinks they might be in the haunted house.
I like to make the haunted house sounds.
Meet nine year old Joshua Lewis.
There's one, she sees a ghost, and her friend jumped out to surprise her.
Today, he's trying out a new piece of tech called "Code Jumper", a physical coding language, developed by Microsoft, for children who are blind or Visually impaired.
You plug in the pods into the hub and you turn the knob, which is the donut knob, which looks like a donut but it's a circle knob and it's flat and you turn it and then And you can choose sounds.
In the summer, I did a little tutoring with Joshua and he was talking about coding and that was something that he was very interested in and he wanted to know what I knew about it.
So, when they contacted the school, I was like, my goodness, this is really exciting that we're gonna get to actually lay hands on it and let the kids be able to use it.
When I was over here we made a song.
It was row, row, row your boat.
Row, row, row, your boat.
And then we made like a haunted house book.
Good design works for all kids.
You know when you've got a product that just works.
Because it's intuitive, student catch on quick.
And in essence learning then begins to happen and just begins to blossoms.
Each concrete on your learning or code that shows up on a tablet which then turns into musical notes, songs, words or sounds So they're physically picking up pieces of code and creating their strands as they go along.
The hub reads through all the pods and sends it to the speaker, and that's how you can hear all the information that you had gotten from the Parts.
Dian Rufane a teacher of the blind and visually impaired at Brackenridge Franklin elementary in little Kentucky is one of the first to get it in her classroom.
What I really loved was that how at easy they are with it because when they came to myself and the other teacher miss Allen that works with me we were both like we don't know a lot about coding in this like.
This that kind of thing, and then when the kids start using it, they're just all over it.
I mean, they're like And this does this and this does this and you can do this and it's so much more natural for them because that's the world that they live in.
If I can get it at home, I would try to do what I can do here with
With my family.
I would try to make all kinds of creepy noises or anything but my parents, they'll be creeped.
They'll be thinking that somebody broke in [LAUGH] or something.
Craig Meter, President of the American Printing House for the Blind in Louisville, is working with Microsoft to get Code Jumper in hands of students all over the world.
There's a huge shortage.
And Microsoft, and we've also heard this from Apple too.
We've heard this from Google as well, from members of their accessibility team.
They can't find enough programmers Programmers are in high demand, this is a huge field.
You can be blind and become a programmer.
Joshua's a natural at programming, a skill that could definitely come in handy in the future.
What do you want to be when you grow up?
What do you wanna invent when you grow up?
Well flying cars.
Co jumper officially launches for the classroom and for individual purchase in July.
And for students like Dianna's it can't arrive soon enough.
Assistive technology and the technoloyg that APH has really levels that playing field for our kids when you're looking at careers.
It shows them the jobs that they can do.
It just really links the sighted world with the blind world as well.