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Ribbon HUNDRED 2020
The Reach and Match Learning Kit is a double-sided sensory play mat that promotes social inclusion of children with special needs.

Reach & Match Learning Kit

location_on Melbourne, Australia
Reach & Match Learning Kit was developed from postgraduate research to combat the global decline of braille. It empowers children with special needs and facilitates an inclusive learning environment. It includes braille and print forms for both vision impaired and sighted children to develop literacy as well as essential childhood skills such as cognitive, motor, social and communication skills.
Mandy Lau, Founder & Designer
The design provides a fun and friendly platform that bridges the gap between abled and disabled children.

Mandy Lau, Founder & Designer

Overview

HundrED has selected this innovation

HundrED 2020

Key figures

Innovation Overview

1 - 10
Age Group
8 000
Children/Users
6
Countries
2011
Established
For-profit
Organisation
546
Views
Updated on October 19th, 2020
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about the innovation

What is Reach & Match Learning Kit?

What we do?

Mandy Lau designed the Reach & Match® Learning Kit during her postgraduate research, and is designed to be an education kit to empower children with special needs and facilitate an inclusive education setting. It can be used for individual learning or group play and has been integrated into kindergartens, primary schools, play centres, local libraries and NGOs globally. 

The Reach and Match Learning Kit includes an activity manual that includes around 40 activities that have been developed in line with the Early Years Framework.

We collaborate with specialists and educators to design exercises, activities and games for children to develop their childhood skills, such as cognitive skill, body skill, motor skill, communication and social skill. 

Why we do it?

1. Celebration of Braille

The first issue that Mandy aims to tackle is the global decline of Braille. The main reasons include a law that took effect, that moved thousands of children from specialised school for the blind to mainstream schools. At these mainstream schools, there are inadequate qualified teachers and equipment to teach braille, as well as social and cultural barriers over how blind children should be educated. However, not only is Braille an ingenious and efficient way for blind people to read and write, it is also crucial to their career and independence. Hence, the first question was raised in her mind: 

“Early braille education is crucial to a child with vision impairment, but how do we encourage them to learn and appreciate Braille?”

2. Essential Skills for Children with Special Needs

In addition to blindness and sensory impairment, lots of children she has worked with also have additional disabilities; such as developmental delay, i.e autism as well as other cognitive, social and communication impairments. Hence: 

“The design provides functional training, which is the first step for disabled children learn alternative skills of independence and also helps them achieve their full productive potential.” 

3. A Social Inclusive Tool – Fun for All

While social inclusion is a shared goal and vision in special education, not having enough teachers, resources and attention amongst the schools means that there is not the necessary help required for disabled children to be included in mainstream education.

“Therefore, the design provides a fun and friendly platform that bridges the gap between abled and disabled children.”

Mandy has developed different prototypes of Reach & Match® for field-testing, and she collaborated with specialists, educators and parents to improve and modify the product. Activity booklets are in development for teachers and specialists to apply Reach & Match into their teaching. It is really exciting to bringing Reach & Match® to every part of the world where the children would be benefited.

Milestones

Achievements & Awards

December 2017
Open IDEO: MIKTA Education in Emergencies
June 2016
Good Design Award: Social Inclusion
June 2012
James Dyson Award - National Winner (Australia)
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