Skip to main content

26 September 2023

Unlock the Power of Tech for everyone: Introducing Barefoot’s new Accessible Adventures in Coding

Tech has the potential to transform lives, but is not always accessible to everyone. That's why Barefoot has created its innovative new resources, Accessible Adventures in Coding. 

These lessons, launched by Barefoot in partnership with the Scratch Education Collaborative this week, are the first Barefoot resources to be based on the subject of accessibility. 

They’re designed to show how tech can be designed to be accessible to everyone and enrich all of our lives.

Download Resources

The new Accessible Adventures lessons enable primary pupils to consider how diverse accessibility needs, such as visual impairment or speech impairment, affect how people use their digital devices. 

Through experimenting with a range of accessibility tools, followed by programming their own tool, pupils develop their knowledge and understanding of inclusive technology and programming concepts.

“Many people are unable to access technology, as it often depends on a person’s ability to see, hear, touch, speak and remember things,”

said Isabella Lieghio, Barefoot Content Manager. 

She explained that barriers to using technology could include a permanent disability, a temporary medical impairment, or the impact of a specific situation, such as a certain location or undertaking a particular task.

“Understanding how many people are excluded from using digital devices is the first step to ensuring that technology is developed with inclusivity in mind, helping to remove barriers and ensures people with a wider range of abilities are included,” she said.

Accessibility tools to support inclusivity can be included with an application, or they might take the form of a dedicated program to enable a person to overcome a specific barrier.

In the Accessible Adventures lessons, pupils focus on technology related to a person’s ability to see, hear, touch and speak. Pupils can temporarily experience the barriers faced in relation to sensory impairments, and also use technology which helps overcome those barriers. 

Older pupils can also investigate the challenges faced by people whose ability to remember information is impaired and the accessibility tools to help them.

The new set of resources have been welcomed by experts;

"The language is simple and clear. I like the way you tease out understanding about the purpose of accessibility tools, and the challenges they hope to solve,”

said Chrissy Harbour, Qualified Teacher of Visual Impairment (QTVI), Manchester Sensory Support Service.

Computational thinking concepts and approaches are also embedded within Accessible Approaches to ensure the lessons target key curriculum objectives:

  • Tinkering - We try out something new to discover what it does and how it works: this is tinkering. It’s closely associated with logical reasoning. Tinkering enables pupils to build up experiences of cause and effect: ‘If I move this, then this happens.’ In this sequence of lessons, pupils experiment with both accessibility tools and the functionality of different blocks within Scratch / ScratchJr.
  • Creating - Creating involves making something new. Within this sequence of lessons, pupils create their own accessibility tool using their knowledge and understanding of Scratch / ScratchJr. They are also encouraged to further develop their creation through the inclusion of additional features. 
  • Barefoot’s Accessibility Adventures resources are all aligned with the relevant curriculum of England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. 

CAS has welcomed this innovative addition to Barefoot.

“We’re really excited about Barefoot’s new Accessible Adventures in Computing resources.Tech can change lives in so many ways but too many people still face barriers in unlocking its potential. So it’s fantastic that Barefoot is helping children who will be the future users, creators and consumers of tech to understand how to ensure it can benefit everyone and to develop the computing skills in a fun and engaging way to make that happen in a fun and engaging way,”

said Dr Jon Chippindall, Director of Computing at School. 

To access Barefoot’s Accessible Adventures resources - see here

New Resources

Barefoot has a full programme of training workshops for teachers. To find out more, see here:

Primary Computing workshops