UAH hosts GenCyber Camp, teaches blind and visually impaired high schoolers about cybersecurity

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Steven Forney, a research associate at UAH’s Systems Management and Production Center, works with a GenCyber camper to build a computer.
Michael Mercier / UAH

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. — Ten high school students with blindness and visually impairments are learning about cybersecurity this week at GenCyber Camp at The University of Alabama in Huntsville.

Campers will hear from a variety of guest presenters, including individuals with visual impairments who work in the technology field, and get hands on experience.

“Students will build a computer, learn to program, and encrypt and decrypt secret messages,” said Jesse Hairston, CCRE assistant director, said in a press release. “Campers also practice digital forensics and build circuits.”

The camp is a partnership between UAH and the Center for Assistive Technology Training at the Alabama Institute for Deaf and Blind (AIDB), Microsoft, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the American Printing House for the Blind.

“Many of our campers make use of assistive technologies like screen readers, magnifiers, braille devices, etc., to learn cybersecurity,” Hairston said in a press release.

The camp, which is in its fifth year of operation, encourages students with visual impairments to explore cybersecurity careers.

Every year, students from multiple states come to Huntsville for GenCyber. This year’s campers are from Alabama, Tennessee, and North Carolina.

A GenCyber camp will also be held for deaf and hard-of-hearing high school students on June 27-July 2.

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