Stage 3: Proof of Concept
The intellectual concept behind this innovation has been field-tested to gain an early 'real-world' assessment of it's potential.
Children with disabilities have bigger challenges in accessing basic education during an emergency situation, i.e. blind children do not have access to Braille literacy. Children with disabilities and girls are easily isolated and ignored, not able to interact and learn with their peers in mainstream education. Teachers do not have right tools and resources to assist children with disabilities in learning and they often have little or no training in early intervention or inclusive education
Children with multiple disabilities including blindness and visually impaired, intellectual and developmental disabilities, autism and limited fine motor skills/mobility. Reach & Match encourages social interaction, traumatised or injured children can also benefit from simple activities such as matching and sorting colors, shapes and pattern, learning alphabet letters etc.Children without disabilities: learn about mutual understanding and respect. Girls with and without disabilities: this is a friendly and gender inclusive toolkit joining all children to learn and play together in a fun way. Teachers, carers, and parents: they will be trained to deliver the inclusive learning program effectively, which will help them learn inclusive ideas for joining children with and without special needs in classes and community. Age: 3-12 years old preschool to primary school. Reach & Match has a great potential to scale through reaching local communities, basic classrooms and families.
Mission and Vision
IMPACT: By 2022, we aim to have Reach and Match reached 4000 schools and homes to benefit over 100,000 young children and 500 teachers in 50 different countries across the world.Question: How can we develop a sustainable model which maintains the feasibility to apply to both developed and developing countries, while maintaining the educational value and the quality of delivery models and approaches and adapting to different cultural contexts?
Reach & Match was developed from team leader Mandy's master's research for children with sensory impairment and multiple needs to develop braille & print early literacy and social skills through tactile strategies and play-based activities. The project has included the research in braille literacy, early intervention & inclusion in education, and developed with a range of educators and specialists using the user-centric methodologies and co-design approaches. The project consists of two parts: a mechanical device Reach & Match__ Learning Kit and Reach & Match__ Inclusive Learning Program. The kit consists of 4 large double-sided sensory play mats, 26 braille & print alphabet double-sided sensory tiles containing 4 sounds, a cushion, and a portable bag. The program includes 30+ activities and games based on 7 learning outcomes: Braille & Print Literacy, Cognitive Skills, Sensory Integration, Sense of Satisfaction, Language Enrichment, Body Movement and Social Interaction._?The double-side sensory play provides distinctive and fun ways for individual learning and group play. One or several Reach & Matchs can be used alone or packaged as part of an emergency school kits, the mats are expandable to accommodate a bigger group of children, the activities designed to encourage participation for all children including with and without disabilities or injuries, boys and girls in the mainstream learning settings. It also provides therapeutic support for traumatised children
Reach & Match is well-received and achieved awards including Good Design Award (Social Innovation), Red Dot Award (Education), James Dyson Award (Australian Winner) and Monash University Vice-Chancellor Social Inclusion Award. It is a significant improvement on existing products and its research driven by the specific needs of children with disabilities. It's innovation include:1. Encourage early Braille & print literacy 2. Embrace Inclusion: enables children with diverse needs to learn equally and teaches mutual respect and understanding and raises awareness of different forms of languages.3. The Inclusive Learning Program helps children to develop essential social and communication skills through activities and games4. Early Positive Emotional Development brings dignity, joy, support for disabled children5. Self-empowerment: well-designed activities are the first step for alternative functional skills of independence hence to achieve their full potential