Blocked entry: how block-based programming is inaccessible and what could be done about it
6:00 pm - 7:00 pm
Zoom (Registration Required)
Block-based programming is very popular in introductory programming. Its drag-and-drop design is very approachable for novices -- but not for the vision impaired and others who would like to use a screen reader and keyboard entry. Frame-based editing is a hybrid of blocks and text that has potential to be more accessible than block-based programming for those using screen readers and the keyboard. However, the APIs to interface with screen readers expect a structure of classic GUI controls; fitting novel interfaces into these APIs remains a challenge. In this talk I will first give an overview of the issues with blocks and screen readers and discuss some previous work on screen readers and programming (both blocks and text). Then I will introduce frame-based programming and explain how its core design should provide better support for screen-readers than block-based programming. Finally I will discuss the challenges of actually achieving this and highlight our planned future work in this area.
Accessibility, Computing, Inclusion