To commemorate World Autism Awareness Day 2018, Microsoft organised an Hour of Code with We Rock The Spectrum gym. Participants from the Imagine Cup 2018 Regional Finals, Microsoft employees and volunteers from the National Autism Society of Malaysia came together to guide children on the autism spectrum through an Hour of Code Minecraft tutorial.
We Rock The Spectrum Gym
Initially founded in Tarzana, Los Angeles by Dina Kimmel, We Rock the Spectrum Gym has expanded across the United States. In December 2016, Nori Abdullah – the wife of Youth and Sports Minister YB Brig Jen Khairy Jamaluddin Abu Bakar – Hana Jamaluddin and Rahmah Mahmood decided to bring the Gym to Ara Damansara, Malaysia.
“As we approach an age where technology is all around us and as the nation braces itself for the 4th Industrial Revolution, we are constantly seeking methods to educate our young ones to be ready for a digital future,” said Nori Abdullah, Co-owner, We Rock the Spectrum Gym Malaysia.
“With that in mind, it warms my heart to see Microsoft bring digital skills to the children here at We Rock the Spectrum Gym, enabling them to learn through the Hour of Code. Children with disabilities are less likely to complete primary school and more likely to be marginalized or denied access to education. This is even more true for girls and women with disabilities. With the partnership of Microsoft, we intend to shatter this stereotype and show the world how inclusion, diversity, and equal opportunity, can truly make a difference.”
Microsoft Rocks The Spectrum With An Hour Of Code
Combining World Autism Awareness Day 2018, with the effort to create STEM learning opportunities for children with different abilities, Microsoft organised an Hour of Code tutorial at We Rock The Spectrum gym. This is an autism-focused, indoor playground and kid’s gym that prides itself in being a sensory-safe environment.
Marking the occasion, K. Raman, Microsoft Malaysia’s Managing Director said, “We are proud to be partnering We Rock the Spectrum Gym in observing World Autism Awareness Day as we work to empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more. Our long-term partnership with the Gym to include the Hour of Code as part of their program is in line with Microsoft’s efforts to democratise technology and bridge the opportunity divide. Empowerment begins with inclusion, and we firmly believe that the joys of technology should be shared with everyone, especially youth, as today’s digital natives are tomorrow’s digital workforce. Our efforts are also in line with Malaysia’s Year for Women Empowerment, as we try to tackle the challenges faced by women with disabilities.”
Also present during the event was Microsoft’s M-Powered ambassador, advocate for the autism cause, and founder of Serena’s Secret, Serena Zara Taufiq. Alongside Serena was Dr Wan Himratul Azliza, accessibility advocate, internal medicine consultant and lifestyle physician, and mother to Serena.
An Hour of Code @ We Rock The Spectrum Gym
In addition to hosting the event, We Rock the Spectrum Gym announced a partnership with Microsoft Malaysia. The partnership will see the inclusion of Hour of Code as part of the Gym’s program, thus enabling children who play at the gym to get a chance to learn and experience coding.
To ensure that the children receive proper guidance, Microsoft will work closely with the gym trainers to ensure they are well equipped to conduct the Hour of Code sessions independently in the future.