Girls Who Code Summer Camp at Intuit

Intuit sponsored an intensive 7-week camp for Girls Who Code during the summer of 2015. This is a fantastic opportunity for young girls to learn the basics of computer programming and move beyond to product design and development. It culminated with the young engineers presenting their final projects, which were quite impressive.

I had the opportunity to do an hour long presentation on accessibility and we did a follow up session at the Usability Labs to experience the world with limited senses. These sessions had a big impact on the girls and how they perceive their role in developing inclusive products

While the girls tried on vision impairing goggles, blindfolds and other mobility impairment items, Intuit’s Ted Drake spoke about the importance of accessibility research. This was one of the girls’ favorite workshops of the summer and they expressed having a whole new understanding of inclusiveness after the tour.

“We used a vibration for our [final project] headphones – instead of a sound – that catches attention despite background noise and can be felt by the hearing impaired,” said GWC Pulse team member, Reva. “Ted Drake’s accessibility workshop taught us to look at all the possibilities.”

– Girls Who Code: One woman to another (Intuit intranet article)

Accessibility Projects


Wearable headphones that vibrate when someone says your name. The owner of headphones enters their name into the program which drives the notification functionally. When the user can’t hear their name being called, the headphones vibrate to alert them.

Girls Who Code Summer Camp


A wearable device that allows people to understand and translate sign language. As a person makes a sign, the wearable send signals to the computer which translates the sign language into text.
Girls Who Code Summer Camp

The Com-Motion team’s next project is to build a GeoLocation based app for people with Alzheimer’s. I gave them a kit to build their first prototype and introduced them to an Alzheimer’s researcher at the Palo Alto V.A. Hospital. I’m looking forward to seeing them in a few years when they join Intuit to build the next generation of products.

Published by Ted

Accessibility is more than making sure images have alternate text. I work with engineers, product managers, and designers to understand how accessibility impacts the users, set realistic deadlines, and create the solutions to provide a delightful experience to all users, regardless of their physical, sensory, or cognitive ability.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.