When I met Mandy Lau a few years ago, and she showed me her Reach and Match product, I was immediately impressed with the work and thought that had gone into all aspects of this educational kit. Inclusion, fun and exploration were clearly some of the concepts core to its development.
As a blind person who has worked for a long time in the adaptive technology field, I am very aware of factors that affect tactile experiences. By handling the different components, I could instantly tell they were made from high-quality materials and to hold and “play” with them was a pleasure.
The design features behind the Reach and Match kit incorporates variety, versatility and choice. I like how it caters for a range of abilities and needs and engages many different senses simultaneously. The amount of variation in colour, shape, texture and sound makes it interesting and not overwhelming.
As a braille user since age 7, and someone who has been passionate about the importance of braille education ever since, I really like how the Reach and Match kit gives a strong, but not exclusive, focus on braille literacy and tactile discovery.
I am not surprised that Mandy has received numerous awards recognising her high level of engineering skills, innovative thinking and dedication, which she has combined to make such an appealing play resource.