Evaluating the accessibility of scratch for children with cognitive impairments

Zubair, Misbahu Sharfuddeen orcid iconORCID: 0000-0001-7604-0592, Brown, David, Hughes-Roberts, Thomas and Bates, Matthew (2018) Evaluating the accessibility of scratch for children with cognitive impairments. In: International Conference on Universal Access in Human-Computer Interaction (UAHCI 2018), 15-20 July 2018, Las Vegas, NV, USA.

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Official URL: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-92049-8_49


Research on the use of interactive media as learning tools for children with cognitive impairments has focused mainly on employing predesigned content, rather than constructing new content. Visual programming tools could potentially provide cognitively impaired children with a platform that can enable them to create their own interactive media. However, very little is known about the accessibility of the tools. This study uses a novel approach to evaluate the accessibility of Scratch (a visual programming tool) for children with cognitive impairments by employing a Grounded Theory research method. The study was conducted with 9 participants: 2 special education teachers and 7 cognitively impaired children over a period of ten weeks. The children’s usage of Scratch was documented through screen capturing. In addition, semi structured interviews were conducted with the two teachers. Grounded Theory based analysis was performed using QSR NVivo, which led to the identification of: accessibility issues; causal conditions; contexts; strategies employed to tackle issues; and consequences. Thus, the findings of this research contribute to existing knowledge on the accessibility of visual programming tools and elucidate the experience of cognitively impaired children while using the tools.

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