Which Smalltalk App Did Students Build for Blind Classmates?
The Smalltalks Conference is an annual conference presented by the Fundación Argentina de Smalltalk (F.A.S.T.), a non-profit foundation in Argentina. F.A.S.T. creates activities to promote the use of the Smalltalk programming language in all fields, including education and the software industry.
At one of their recent conferences, Suzanne Fortman, the Cincom Smalltalk Program Director, learned about an amazing student-created application. Supported by their professors, a few students elected to tackle a challenge that was affecting their visually impaired classmates. The result of that challenge was the creation of the Lazaro Project.
Lazaro is a Smalltalk application that enables visually impaired students to learn object oriented programming just as their sighted classmates do. In talking about the application, one of the professors, Gabriela Arevalo said,
“The project was not only interesting for the challenge presented, but also because of the impact on our university community. Using this tool, blind students can study with minimal adaptations to the software and in the same timeframe as other students.”
Lazaro has clear educational uses. However, this application could easily be extended in other ways. In business, for example, it could be used at organizations looking to add support for the visually impaired. In fact, Suzanne noted:
“I had the privilege to experience the students presenting the Lazaro application. I immediately recognized that their project would add value to several of Cincom’s Enterprise customers. These customers are looking for an application to support the visually impaired, which also seamlessly integrates with their Cincom Smalltalk applications.”
To read more about the Lazaro Project, click here.