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
2017 Tammy Axelsen Lifetime Achievement Award Winner

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.

Dick Lunenborg, Assistive technology specialist

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.

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

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.

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

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.

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

A very thoughtful inclusive tool

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.

Dr. Penny Round
Faculty of Education, Monash University

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.

Marg Griffin, Vision Services
Department of Education, Tasmania

A naturally tactile toy

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.

Lorraine Justice, Jury Captain Core77 Design Award
Dean of College of Imaging Arts & Sciences at Rochester Institute of Technology

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.

Professor Andrew Whitehouse
Telethon Kids Institute

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.

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