Are there organizations that support students with disabilities interested in computer science?
There are several organizations that are interested in increasing the participation of people with disabilities in computer science, at both the preK-12 level and the postsecondary level.
- AccessCSforAll is a NSF-funded project that develops accessible tools and curricula for K-12 computer science education. The website has many resources, including recorded webinars.
- There are a handful of programming languages and tools that are accessible to students with disabilities:
- The Quorum programming language, an evidenced-based programming language that is accessible to screen reader users. It can be used online or downloaded to a PC or Macintosh and has curricula for Advanced Placement Computer Science Principles, robotics, and games.
- Swift Playgrounds, a learning-engaged programming language using real code to build and interact through a 3D world. It is accessible to all users and doesn’t require coding knowledge. It can be used on a Macintosh or iPad and has curricula for adopting higher programming principles, enhancing problem-solving skills, and building applications.
- Blocks4All, a block-based programming language that is accessible to visually-impaired users utilizing VoiceOver and Voice Control to interact with the Dash robot. It can be used on an iPad and has curricula for learning basic programming concepts, robotics, and games.
- The National Center for Computer Science Education maintains an accessibility page that includes strategies and resources related to accessibility in K-12 computer science education.
- Creative Technology Research Lab at the University of Florida aims to investigate how to meaningfully engage all learners in technology-mediated learning with a focus on K-12 computer science and computational thinking. They partner with UDL4CS, which aims to provide teachers with the tools necessary to meaningfully include students with disabilities in computer science education.
- Deaf Kids Code promotes computer science, technology, and design thinking skills to children who are Deaf or hard of hearing.
- Tech Kids Unlimited works to empower neurodiverse students' lives through computer science and technology skills.
- AccessComputing is an NSF-funded Broadening Participation in Computing Alliance that works to increase the participation of people with disabilities in computing education and careers.
- CMD-IT (the Center for Minorities and People with Disabilities in IT) aims “to contribute to the national need for an effective workforce in computing and IT through synergistic activities related to minorities and people with disabilities.” They are the host of the Tapia Celebration of Diversity in Computing.
- Code the Spectrum provides computer technology training to individuals with autism and other neurodivergent identities.