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Analytic thought developed for children with sight disabilities

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Analytic thought developed for children with sight disabilities
Analytic thought developed for children with sight disabilities. wikimedia commons
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Mexico City, Jan 3, 2018: For the purpose of developing analytic thought and reducing mistaken alterations in data received by children with sight disabilities, a group of students in Mexico City designed a multi-sensory system that includes stories, jigsaw puzzles and stuffed toys.

“Mati Mati: Makes Visible the Invisible”, is a system that reduces the difficulties of learning by developing analytic thought in blind children, said the creators, students at the Metropolitan Autonomous University (UAM).

The work focuses on a strategy of sensory instruction that reduces the reception of data in a mistakenly altered form due to the lack of sight, reports Efe news.

“The solution we propose offers information to each of the senses, since it is based on hearing, touch, haptics (related to touch) and smell,” according to the system’s developers.

The bases of the project are two stories written by the students about endangered species in Mexico: the ajolotl salamander that lives in Xochimilco and the quetzal bird indigenous to the forests of Chiapas.

The system consists of stuffed animals that can be taken apart, two 3D jigsaw puzzles and stories with visual information printed in ink, whose editorial design was executed according to the needs of youngsters either blind or with very limited vision, and includes a series of watercolour illustrations that complement each story.

The stories include haptic images and the Braille system, which correspond to the sense of touch, while each one has its own audiobook so that users can hear the story narrated by the characters in the story, and whose soundtrack enriches the project, the inventors said.

Both the stuffed animals, with textures and materials that simulate the real feeling of the species, plus the odours related to the story and the jigsaw puzzles are all calculated to strengthen the analytic thought processes of blind youngsters as they try to dismantle and assemble each object without anybody helping them.

The jigsaw puzzles were designed and cut with a laser beam, possess geometric forms identifiable to the touch, and present textures through which users can identify each part of the animal through active feeling. (IANS)

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OrchKids- Bringing Joy To Underprivileged Kids Through Music

Nema was accepted into the Baltimore School for the Arts where she now studies music.

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Jazz
Jazz is like the first dance music. Free dancing, where you show free expression. You throw your body but nobody is doing the same two steps

In Baltimore, a free after school music program called OrchKids is being used as an instrument of change for children in underprivileged neighborhoods. In the past 10 years, more than 1,300 children have received free group music lessons, and free instruments, from flutes to trumpets to violins.

The program was started by Marin Alsop, music director of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, who said OrchKids also aims to create social change in a city where about 40 percent of the population live in poverty. She hopes that if more children of color learn an instrument that “orchestras will better reflect the diversity of our communities.”

For 15 year old Nema Robinson, OrchKids has given her more opportunities than she ever imagined. Four years ago, the quiet teenager started taking the group violin lessons and quickly progressed.

Her teacher, Ahreum Kim, grew up in Korea and studied at the prestigious Peabody Institute in Baltimore.

“Nema’s determination has helped make her a top violin student” Kim said. “OrchKids is doing a lot for Nema, by giving her confidence, the practice of being in front of an audience, and musical skills she can be proud of,” she added.

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Nema’s musical journey began when she and her mother, Susan Johnson, saw an OrchKids concert. Johnson was amazed to see black kids performing classical and opera music. “You just don’t see that,” she recalled thinking, “And I’m elbowing Nema and telling her, ‘This is what you should be doing.”

Nema enthusiastically agreed, and soon after started taking violin lessons that have given her the opportunity to play all kinds of music. She is especially proud of being a violinist in the Orchkids jazz band.

OrchKids has been instrumental in guiding many students, some from difficult backgrounds, by providing a place where they feel respected and safe.

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“Some of the students come into the class with baggage,” said Kim. “That could be due to poverty, or trouble at home. It is helpful when I learn about their families.”

Nema had a rough start in life as a drug addicted baby. With both her parents in prison, her aunt became her guardian and mother.

“She’s my number one supporter and has helped me a lot,” said Nema appreciatively. She pushes me. If it wasn’t for my mom I don’t think I would really be this good at playing the violin.”

Music
OrchKids has been instrumental in guiding many students.

Aside from the camaraderie and the encouragement that OrchKids provides, Nema also enjoys performing. I like seeing the audience, and their clapping and standing up after the performance,” she said. “It just makes my day.”

Thanks to her free violin lessons, Nema was accepted into the Baltimore School for the Arts where she now studies music.

Also Read: China Set To Spend Billionaire on ‘One Belt One Road’s, But Some Focus on Poverty

She hopes to earn a college degree in music so she can teach other black children, like herself, how to live their lives on a high note.

“It doesn’t matter what race you are, you can play music. If it’s your passion then it’s your passion,” Nema said with a smile. (VOA)