The London team ran a hugely successful Dojo at the London Salesforce World Tour last week where they had visually impaired youth learning to code. We recently have a query from Valerie about facilitating deaf children in a Dojo (see below). This thread is to kick off a discussion about any experience that Dojo Champions may have with making their Dojos more accessible to youth.
We have a deaf family who has joined our dojo with three participating children. Mother and three children (actually four as youngest is not coding but present) are all deaf.
Fortunately, we do not run presenter led sessions, but use self-guided, self-paced materials off the internet. We run multiple programming topics each session.
When the family arrived, we had no advance notice of their needs (including the need to borrow laptops), and we did our best to manage. Each child had signed up for a different programming topic. The mother had her hands full with the littlest one keeping her busy. We don’t have anyone at the club who knows sign language and we do not have fund for sign language interpreters.
It so happens we had extra mentors at the last session and we switched them over as dedicated mentors to provide one-to-one attention using written communications on paper or typing into devices (mentor’s cell phones). However, I can’t always count on having these extra resources each session and the mentors need to divide their attention with the other kids also.
This family has signed up for our weekly sessions and we’ve asked the family to provide us tips on how best to facilitate interactions with the children. I’ve also asked them to invite any sign language friendly friends they have that can attend to help communications and I’ve reached out to the local community college where sign language is taught to ask for help or student volunteers.
I am reaching out here in the hopes that others might have other advice to add.
Please send me any info you have about what you did for the visually impaired youth at your recent workshop in London. I have a family in our Silicon Valley dojo that has asked for assistance. I would love to help them with some resources.
Here is the Facebook page with updates from the series of Accessibility Dojos being run through the summer in the UK, which has video footage & photos explaining what resources were used to enable those with visual impairments to fully participate in a Dojo: https://www.facebook.com/accessdojo/
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