Community Meeting (Feb 20, 2019): Tech-Inclusion: Developing Coding Classes for Youths who are Deaf


“Tech-Inclusion: Developing Coding Classes for Youths who are Deaf” will be facilitated by Claudia McKoy of Creative Amnesty. Creative Amnesty is an UpSurgence initiative that focuses on finding practical ways to include marginalized communities into our emerging tech-based economy. Last fall, the Creative Amnesty’s team worked with community leaders, interpreters and coding educators to design coding classes that were accessible for children who are Deaf.

At this Wednesday’s Inclusive Design research Centre community meeting at OCAD University, we are inviting the community to join in a discussion to explore how to best develop our coding classes to ensure that they are highly accessible, impactful, and cost effective. We are also seeking insights on the best tools use and what resources we ought to access to scale the project to ensure as many children as possible can enjoy the benefits of the program.

Our discussion will include three key areas of focus:

  • Providing general and basic coding class for young children.
  • “iSee Me” – a program that trains individuals who are Deaf with a tech background to become tech educators. Such a program allows young learners to see themselves and their community as members of tech community. Thus, fostering a sense of belonging and inclusion within the students.

  • Career pathways – an initiative that established in partnerships with tech employers to create programs for individuals who are Deaf seeking employment in the field. The initiative would seek first to identify what skills are needed by the businesses to then train the learners in those desired skills and well as how best to prepare and assist organizations that would wish to include employees that are Deaf, but may lack the experience or the knowledge of the best practices.