Gamification, or how to engage visually impaired learners

Have you ever wondered how a person who is blind can learn to use an iPhone or an iPad?

Maybe you have heard about VoiceOver, the built-in screen reader on iOS devices? VoiceOver enables a user to access the device by way of spoken and audio feedback in response to special touch gesture interaction with the screen. The ability to use mainstream touch technology just as skilled as anybody else can enhance visually impaired children’s opportunities for access to information, social activities, education, and future employment opportunities. However, they first need to develop the skills to use this technology effectively. Learning is better when you are having fun, and especially when you share the process with others. The design of Sonokids’ accessible game apps is geared towards inclusive play and learning: by children who are visually impaired, sighted siblings and friends, and parents, educators and therapists. The apps enable audio based, fun, experiential, hands-on learning of essential VoiceOver skills in a safe and supportive environment. This award winning concept can potentially be applied to other eLearning processes that may otherwise be quite cumbersome for the child with visual impairment, as well as challenging for parents, educators and therapists. Keen to learn more? Come and join us for this dynamic presentation, showcasing real use cases, and innovative app design in action. Tap along with the original TapTap song! This presentation will challenge thinking, extend skills and share knowledge.

John Norgaard

John Norgaard is Chief Programmer of Sonokids. Over the last decades John has developed innovative, ground breaking programming solutions in the development of accessible software for children with visual impairments, joining together high standard accessibility and high quality audio. John has a longstanding professional career as voice-actor, well known radio and TV host (Denmark), and as a performing artist. As such, audio and music have always been an integral part of John’s life. John was one of the first people in the world to create interactive musical applications on the computer. He works from his own programming and recording studio.

Phia Damsma

Phia Damsma, MA, is Creative Director of Sonokids. She is responsible for the instructional and creative frameworks for the User Centered design of Sonokids’ projects, as well as beta and user testing. Phia has a track record in presenting at national and international conferences, providing university guest lectures about inclusion of people with disability, and presenting technology training workshops for parents and teachers of students who are blind or have low vision. She is a member of the Regional Advisory Council for the Queensland Minister of Disability Services (Australia), and is an Executive Member on the Board of South Pacific Educators in Vision Impairment (SPEVI Inc).