Reach & Match® Learning Kit

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  • 2016

  • Social Impact

Designed By:

  • Mandy, Shuk Man Lau

Commissioned By:

N/A

Designed In:

Australia

Reach & Match® is an innovative and research-based education kit for children with vision impairment and complex needs to develop braille literacy and essential childhood skills in mainstream settings. The double-sided sensory play provides a fun and friendly platform to bridge the gap between children with differing abilities.


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  • The research has involved the study of global decline of braille literacy, the social and cultural barriers that children with vision impairment facing in education system and the early intervention for children with multi-disabilities. Study shows that the students in U.S. who were taught to read braille has declined from 57% in 1963 to less than 9.5% in 1998. 90% of blind adults who are braille literate are employed, however among adults who do not know braille, only 1 in 3 is employed. With a lack of effective tools, therefore Reach & Match® is a first-mover design that aims to reverse this trend and provide blind children an enjoyable incentive to develop braille and essential functional skills.

  • The research and design development were collaborated with childhood educators, therapists and parents. The design dialogues opened up a deep consideration on every detail, and the design concepts would not be possible made without understanding the complexity of early intervention for children with sensory impairment and additional needs. The design was directly response to the actual circumstances and needs of blind children, such as tactile fantasy, hearing pleasure and bodily awareness. The observation and testing were the most valuable research to select the appropriate communication options for the design.

  • Reach & Match® is designed as a cost effective way, with a purpose to serve a class-size in order to maximising its use. Reach & Match® is also portable, which enables therapists and visiting teachers to carry to different places to for a wider range of users. Children with different needs, such as Down Syndrome, cerebral palsy and autism are greatly benefited from its learning program. The product materials are safe, durable and easy to clean and maintain. Different versions of samples were made in order to achieve a reliable, safe and high quality end product, it has been tested to comply with worldwide safety standards including those in Australia, New Zealand, United States, Europe and Japan.

  • Inclusion is important, yet is hard to achieve, especially among children. Reach & Match® is a beautiful combination of braille & print literacy, sensory elements and interactive features which allow all children to play inclusively. It teaches mutual respect and understanding, and raises awareness of different forms of languages. Reach & Match® is unique in its flexibility. It is simple for toddlers to learn dexterity, hearing and tactile skills. However, it can be also used to create complex games depends on children with varying abilities in training in better memory, direction and special awareness. Reach & Match® can make both 2D and 3D configurations, more combined mats can create unlimited ways to play

    Reach & Match® Inclusive Learning Program was another new development from collaborating with the early educators, therapists and parents to design the activities for early intervention. We have designed 30+ activities and games based on 7 learning outcomes: Braille Learning, Cognitive Skills, Sensory Integration, Sense of Satisfaction, Language Enrichment, Body Movement and Social Interaction. Children and teachers are inspired to design their own games, with the best ideas selected and added into the Reach & Match® Inclusive Learning Program, to create a community within teachers, therapists and parents.

    Study shows that 40% of Australian young children's verbal communication and social skills drop mainly due to negative effects of digital devices. Reach & Match® is a naturally tactile kit that encourages communication and interactive movements and emphasising cooperation. It enables therapists and carers to apply tailor-made training, with exercises to assist children with sensory impairment, physical and developmental delay to learn and play together. Reach & Match® has already been applied in universities as a curriculum tool to teach early childhood intervention as well as adopted by special schools and organisations in Australia and worldwide.