Develop literacy and essential skills in a fun way…

Reach & Match has been applied in education degrees as a great curriculum tool to teach early childhood intervention. Reach & Match is a very thoughtful inclusive tool, its unique features and concepts to help all children to develop literacy and essential skills in a fun way. Activities and games are well designed for the classroom and it is also tailor-made for children with different needs, such as visual impairment and children with physical and intellectual disabilities.

Monash University
Dr. Penny Round
Faculty of Education, Monash University

Help children slowly recover from the trauma and shock…

“One realisation for me was that Reach & Match Learning Kit could help children who are in complex emergencies, to slowly recover from the trauma and shock that they’ve encountered in complex emergencies and help them to transition back to a normal school and life. This could be part of the psycho-social for children, particularly for children aged 3 – 5 years old. We are excited to introduce Reach & Match.”

Plan International
John Tamayo, Project manager
Plan International

Early concepts of space and positional play…

The Reach & Match Learning Kit is a beautiful inclusive learning resource that can be fun for all children as they acquire early concepts of space and positional play. For young children who are visually impaired, there are many tactual qualities which make the mat appealing: Colour, texture, and contrast and contours all invite exploration. The braille letters add a tactile and visual dimension which enables children to encounter braille incidentally whilst playing and parents and carers to learn more about the braille alphabet.

A range of children have access to play on and with the mat. One way in which early concepts are acquired is by repetition and practise. It provides a lovely landmark that becomes more familiar and assists children to orient to a particular part of the room. Children of varying ability can thus enjoy access to this learning resource.

The Reach & Match Learning Kit provides a high-quality curriculum tool. It sets a high benchmark and in doing so delivers a powerful message about the importance of providing all children with access to the best materials to shape and nurture their learning.

Tasmanian Department of Education
Marg Griffin
Vision Services, Department of Education, Tasmania

Children are learning effectively, the sense of satisfaction is indescribable…

“The Reach & Match training delivered by Mandy is amazing, I personally attended it last year, and was so encouraged to see more of our teachers attended this year. Many of my colleagues love the Reach & Match materials, especially when they learnt how to let the children explore the materials instead of “teaching” them straightaway how to play. We have applied the learning kits in different school programs for children with additional needs, there are quite a few challenges but when we see the children are learning effectively, the sense of satisfaction is indescribable!”

Ms. Tam, Principal
Nursery School, Hong Kong

Blind children participated fully alongside sighted children…

“When the Reach & Match kit was trialled with children, the design provided so many opportunities for all children to be engaged in games and activities. Children who have a visual impairment participated fully in alphabet games alongside sighted children due to each tile having the Braille component. Another young child who could not walk was the group leader. He confidently placed shapes into their correct place as his teammates ran towards him as part of the shuttle relay race. The children have had an incredible time and will no doubt benefit enormously from the Reach & Match toolkit going forward,”

Save the Children
Jason Ross, Project officer
Save the Children

The activity book is very helpful and easy for parents to use…

My 3 years old daughter who is visually impaired has autism. She loves to smell, touch and feel the Reach and Match mats and blocks, and she is very curious about the ‘voices’ made by the blocks. I was planning to use it to introduce braille with her, and surprisingly she asked me what are the dots mean when we play it for the first time! Also, I find the activity book is very helpful and easy for parents to use, I like it provides many simple activities that we can play with Amelia and her brother at home.”

Katie Davis, Parent

Dropping the feeling of isolation…

“They are very happy. Before (children with disabilities) are just standing around the corner, not joining our class activities but because of Reach and Match they are now engaging with their classmates, dropping the feeling of isolation.”

Teacher
Ilian Elementary School, Philippines

Learning outcomes and teaching strategies underpinning every activity…

“What I liked most about the training was that we had so much fun! Reach & Match learning kit is not just a mere toy, there are learning outcomes and teaching strategies underpinning every activity that we do. The program is beneficial for kindergartens and schools. Secondly, teachers need to have a clear understanding and instructions before doing the activities so that the kit can be put into good use.”

Save the Children
Steve Sarigumba, Technical officer
Save the Children

This play-based approach helps them to learn alphabet within 3 weeks…

“The feedback from the pilot case was amazing because it is play-based; it is pre-numeracy and pre-literacy training. One of the teachers from Arawa has been working with children in the 4-8 year age group for a couple years trying to teach them the alphabet and they have been staring at her blankly but through using this play-based approach they have learned the alphabet within 3 weeks. They have loved it, it uses games, exercises [and] is fun whilst being age appropriate.”

Callan Services, PNG
Jenny Griffiths, Inclusive Education Advisor
Callan Services, PNG

A fantastic education, inclusive and fun resource…

Reach & Match is a fantastic educational, inclusive and fun resource for children who are blind or have low vision in the early years. It is a teaching resource that can be used to develop special awareness, early braille and tactile exploration skills in children through games and exploratory play. It offers a range of tactile surfaces to be explored as well as bright high contrasting colours to asset children who have some residual vision to access the tool and explore visually.

The Children’s Mobility Service at Guide Dogs Victoria has used Reach & Match as a teaching tool in a number of individual and group programs and camps. The suggested activities in the provided booklet offer a range of opportunities to develop Orientation & Mobility skills as well as games to asset develops self-initiated movement and creativity in children.

The Reach & Match Learning Kit is thoroughly enjoyed by children individually, with the family and in small groups as they discover new and exciting concepts and create their own games while working together.

Guide Dogs Victoria
Darren Moyle, Children's Orientation & Mobility Instructor
Guide Dogs Victoria

“Moving and putting shapes helps him to learn the alphabet quicker…”

I have a pair of 5 years old twin boys, and the older brother Andrew has ADHD and learning difficulties. We have tried many ways to teach him the alphabet but didn’t work. However, when we played Reach & Match with him, it seems that moving and putting shapes on the mats helps him to learn the alphabetic order much quicker! Reach & Match is an effective tool for Andrew, compared to him sitting still and practicing the alphabet flashcards.

Amy Kong, Parent

It is a state-of-the-art learning system…

Our school has been using Reach & Match for several years and we love it! We support Reach & Match because it is a state-of-the-art learning system according to the latest insights to educate visual impaired children inclusively.

We use Reach & Match regularly in our school, it is a functional and effective teaching tool helps us to teach children with vision impairment and multiple disabilities in an enjoyable way.

Every self-respecting school for visually impaired students should have Reach & Match kits at their place.

Bartiméus, Netherlands
Dick Lunenborg, Assistive technology specialist
Bartiméus, Netherlands

Language skills, fine motor skills, communication skills and even mathematics…

“Upon seeing the Reach & Match Learning Kit, I’m very thankful for being part of this training as a kindergarten teacher. There are so many aspects and features to help children to learn, especially in our kindergarten where we implement a play-based curriculum. I am very sure that my kids are really going to enjoy it when I introduce it to them, and I know we can contextualise the activities.

In just 90 minutes playing, I can help children to develop their language skills, fine motor skills, communication skills and even mathematics. So, thank you for introducing Reach & Match to us.”

Sittiehaymer Abdulwahab, Kindergarten teacher
Philippines

If us adults enjoyed it, how much more the children will enjoy it…

“Magandang Umaga. Yesterday’s training was enjoyable, and I discovered that I could be a good actress. We were able to unleash our inner childhood behaviour and attitudes. Express our emotions. Shout! Laugh! If us adults enjoyed it, how much more the children will enjoy it! I hope that Reach & Match activities and learning program can be shared with other areas, not just Marawi or Lanao del Sur, especially those areas that were affected by different emergencies. The training is beneficial because it serves psycho-social support and activities for children.”

Save the Children
Zoreen E. Agustin, Project officer
Save the Children

Reach and Match kit incorporates variety, versatility and choice

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.

Ramona Mandy, NDIS project officer
Australian Federation of Disability

“It is a very inclusive and “All in One” kit…”

There are not many thoughtful and well-designed equipment to support young children with special needs in the market. Therefore, I appreciate that Reach & Match is a very inclusive and “All in One” learning kit that supports children with different needs with a lot of activities and games!

Monica Nelson, Parent

Children with disabilities now can also participate…

“Children with disabilities now can also participate in the Reach & Match games, teachers have learnt to become more creative with the Reach & Match lesson plans that they combine the local songs and games, and the parents found joy as their children are not excluded…. Reach & Match is a very innovative material that promotes education and inclusion.”

Save the Children
Claire Cardona, Project officer
Save the Children

Pedagogical potential for children with and without special needs…

It was a pleasure to have Mandy Lau at the Lisbon School of Education. The design was very interesting and has many pedagogical potential for children with and without special needs.

The seminar of Reach & Match was attended by students, including the specialization course in childcare, as well as teachers of the school community in the Lisbon area and other professionals. Congratulations to Mandy Lau for her wonderful work she is doing on behalf of children with special needs.

Lisbon School of Education
Clarisse Nunes, Lecturer - Special Education and Pre-School Education
Lisbon School of Education

Develop tactile and sensory discrimination…

Reach & Match has been a useful tool in my classroom setting. Encouraging students to develop their tactile and sensory discrimination through play and investigation. Students have used the large mats both in horizontal and vertical configurations to further encourage exploration of their environment. The path and tiles were ideal to introduce new letters and their order and position in the alphabet. The flexibility of the Reach & Match system has allowed us to use it in our P.E. and Music programs, as well as in the Junior school class.

Insight Education Centre for the Blind and Vision Impaired
James Robertson Duncan
Insight Education Centre for the Blind and Vision Impaired

A simple but powerful tool to set good fundamental understanding…

Thanks for creating the Reach & Match learning kit. We are using the learning kit not only for toddlers who are vision impaired and multi-handicapped, where they are being taught fine motor skills, with a plan to move onto teaching them letters; we have also found it very useful for teaching adult trainees (loss of vision due to diabetes, etc.).

Being adult learners, their fingers are less sensitives, with diseases like diabetes causing further health side-effects leading to even less sensitivity in their fingers. Hence, the Reach & Match’s tiles is a great start to their braille literacy. Beginners need large, exaggerated letters no matter what language they are learning!

Our teachers, who are also blind, have used the Reach & Match learning kit to teach, not only braille, but also English and Malay; and we are using a combination of activities from the Reach & Match’s Activity Manual and self-made material, to teach different forms of language learning such as grammar structures, reading and writing skills, pronunciation practice and conversational skills. The Reach & Match is a simple but powerful tool to set good fundamental understanding.

St. Nicholas' Home for the Blind and Visually Impaired, Malaysia
Eileen Khoo, Training & Social Services Manager
St. Nicholas' Home for the Blind and Visually Impaired, Malaysia

Parents were fully engaged with their children…

“The learning outcomes can help us to develop new creative activities for children to develop their learning abilities.  The next two days were spent at the SDC with participants conducting activities with parents and children. Parents were fully engaged with their children in a playtime experience with jumping, hopping, shaking the shapes and making tunes from the sounds of the shapes. In a short speech, one of the dads said, “I feel so, so happy.”

Mrs Lealyn Vunagi, ECE teacher
Special Development Centre, Solomon Islands

Beneficial and convenient and for the teachers…

“I have seen the kit and thought that it was quite ordinary, but upon listen to the lectures and the uses of the equipment, it is very different, and surprisingly it is creatively fun for the kids! It is beneficial and convenient and for the teachers – for those who are blessed to have it – they will be thrilled. It is very new to them. It has many different functions, and all learners will enjoy the kit.”  

Dr Amerah P. Hadji Ali, Education Program Coordinator
Philippines

Especially for children with autism to explore all the fun games…

“We did a Reach & Match training session, it was a really great session to see all the different ways to use the mats, and we really look forward to integrating into the Storytime we run specifically for children with autism and exploring all the fun games. My favourite game is the Shake, Shake, Shake game, that got children to guess which object based on the sound!”

Yarra Libraries
Bridget Gray
Yarra Libraries

Simple, elegant and with huge potential…

The Reach & Match Learning Kit is a wonderful design: simple, elegant and with huge potential to help children with disabilities learn.

Telethon Kids Institute
Professor Andrew Whitehouse
Telethon Kids Institute

Help children who were traumatised…

I have enjoyed the training very much. It taught me how to introduce the games to teachers and other facilitators well.  I realised that the Reach & Match program would help many of our children who were traumatised from the siege to forget what they experienced.

Save the Children
Annafarinah B. Orogan-Marsangca, Community mobilizer
Save the Children

A naturally tactile toy that introduces braille…

This project is a naturally tactile toy that introduces children to Braille and understanding objects. Children naturally like to reach, touch, and feel things and this project is notable for designing for visually impaired children’s’ needs.

Rochester Institute of Technology
Lorraine Justice, Dean of College of Imaging Arts & Sciences
Rochester Institute of Technology

Eye-opener for many teachers…

The Reach & Match training was an eye-opener for many teachers to develop different teaching tactics and skills for children with disabilities. We really enjoyed it.

Save the Children
Floriza, Project officer
Save the Children

A new purpose of the mat that I wouldn’t have thought of…

“Today we read 5 Little Ducks with the preschool class, I looked over to see that one of the little boys had taken out the tiles from the yellow mats and put the knitted ducks into their “nests”. It was so gorgeous that it’s a new purpose of the mat that I wouldn’t have thought of!”

Narbethong Special School
Karen Clark
Alternative Format Library, Narbethong Special School

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