Matthew Shifrin, a blind high school senior from Massachusetts, is a LEGO aficionado. In “A Love Affair with LEGO,” an article that appears in a special STEM-focused issue of Future Reflections, published by the American Action Fund for Blind Children and Adults, Matthew explains how he and a sighted friend developed verbal instructions to make LEGO fully accessible to blind builders.
Their system of text-based instructions allows blind individuals to build complex LEGO sets such as the London Tower Bridge and the Sydney Opera House. Currently Matthew has accessible instructions for 23 LEGO sets ranging from Hogwarts Castle to an Arctic Snowmobile.
Using LEGO helps individuals like Matthew build spatial cognition, develop awareness and orientations skills, and experience the world in a new way.
Educators who would like any of these accessible instructions, or would like to help make more LEGO sets accessible, should email Matthew at firstname.lastname@example.org.
When a young child has autism, screening for hearing loss and visualimpairment can be difficult. A number of resources are available to help families and professionals work together to appropriately screen these children and address their special needs effectively. These include explanations of autism-like behaviors, an online webinar series exploring multidisciplinary perspectives on these disorders, suggestions for writing measurable IEP goals, and a video of revealing moments of children with Asperger’s syndrome and their parents
The American Council of the Blind’s Audio Description Project (ACB-ADP) and the Described and Captioned Media Program (DCMP) are cosponsoring the Benefits of Audio Description in Education (BADIE) contest, an opportunity for young people, aged 7 to 21, who are blind and visually impaired to win prizes for themselves and their teacher, as well as recognition for their school.