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His Work Opens Computer Science to the Blind

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University of Nevada-Las Vegas assistant professor Andreas Stefik.

University of Nevada-Las Vegas assistant professor Andreas Stefik spent 10 years developing a programming language for use by the visually impaired.

Credit: Jason Ogulnik/Las Vegas Review-Journal

University of Nevada-Las Vegas (UNLV) professor Andreas Stefik spent 10 years developing Quorum, a programming language designed for visually impaired people.

Earlier this year, Stefik was recognized by the White House as a Champion of Change, after being nominated for the award by University of Colorado, Boulder professor Clayton Lewis.

Before developing Quorum, Stefik realized there were people in the blind community who wanted to get involved with programming but did not have many options or resources.

Stefik came to Washington, D.C., for the Champion of Change ceremony, and Obama Administration cabinet members listened to him and other recipients discuss ideas on various issues. Stefik spoke about the efforts to make computer science programs more accessible to elementary, middle, and high school students.

In his college classes, Stefik tries to focus on the next generation of computer scientists. "I try not to push students," he says. "Some just want to build something. My job is to just keep them cognizant of what they could do with technology."

From Las Vegas Review-Journal (NV)
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