It is difficult for the visually impaired to image the scenes that we describe and see before us. Braille teaches the meaning of words, but not their shapes or patterns. We have worked to create a teaching tool that will help the visually impaired augment their sense of image perception, thus giving them access to a new set of vocabulary tools.
This teaching tool is centered around 3-D geo-boards, a teacher’s guide book, and a simple instruction manual. Students play with the geo-boards, creating different shapes and patterns. Working with the Taichung School for the Visually Impaired in Taiwan, we have found that when the visually impaired actually “feel” shapes and patterns, they gain a deeper insight and understanding into the world and its descriptions.
By putting together different shapes, the visually impaired come to learn how certain shapes or patterns work with another and thus come to a better understanding of the language of images. They then can use this language when communicating about the world with those with sight.
All of the geo-boards are in simple white, a reflection of the simplicity and innocence of the students themselves, and a symbol of hope and light.