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Accessibility of Block-Based Introductory Programming Languages and a Tangible Programming Tool Prototype

Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNISA,volume 12376)

Abstract

Visual programming languages (VPLs) were designed to assist children in introductory programming courses. Unfortunately, despite the positive results in teaching, VPLs are believed to be inaccessible for children with visual impairments and low vision due to the dependency of visual graphics as both input and output methods. To identify the barriers that users with visual impairments and low vision face while using Block-based programming environments, as well as to acquire feedback regarding the design of a new tangible programming tool prototype, a usability study was conducted which involved nine adult participants with visual impairments and low vision. This paper presents the findings of this usability study and provides a list of features that are needed in order to make Block-based environments accessible. Furthermore, based on observations, interviews, and post-surveys this study demonstrates that our prototype can be used by users with visual impairments and low vision and provides a guideline for the design of tangible interfaces to teach programming concepts.

Keywords

  • Introductory programming
  • Low vision
  • User study
  • Visual impairment

Supported by the National Science foundation 1914635, 1401639 and 1757207.

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Notes

  1. 1.

    We use Scratch as a representative block-based language, due to its popularity.

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Correspondence to Enrico Pontelli .

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Utreras, E., Pontelli, E. (2020). Accessibility of Block-Based Introductory Programming Languages and a Tangible Programming Tool Prototype. In: Miesenberger, K., Manduchi, R., Covarrubias Rodriguez, M., Peňáz, P. (eds) Computers Helping People with Special Needs. ICCHP 2020. Lecture Notes in Computer Science(), vol 12376. Springer, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-58796-3_4

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-58796-3_4

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  • Publisher Name: Springer, Cham

  • Print ISBN: 978-3-030-58795-6

  • Online ISBN: 978-3-030-58796-3

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