I had the pleasure of recently meeting Mark Ackermann and Dr. William Seiple of the Lighthouse Guild in New York City. We talked about the origins of Blindfold Games, and how some of the games are used in Orientation and Mobility training.
Dr. Seiple explained to me how the lack of socialization and environmental stimuli cause children that are blind from birth to be at a significant disadvantage by the time they start school. Simple tasks like sequencing – putting objects in size order from smallest to largest – is often lacking when these children start kindergarten. An accessible audio game could solve that.
In the afternoon, I met with Elise Grossman and her staff of TVIs – teachers of the visually impaired. About a dozen teachers attended and I presented the origin of the games, demo-ed some of the games, and we discussed which games are best for working with each population of people: preschool students, grade school students, teens and adults.
Three of the teachers were fans of Blindfold Games; one was a Blindfold Blackjack self-proclaimed addict. I think his current winnings exceed 1 billion dollars.
The teachers came up with ideas for more games. For example, in a spelling game, the teacher could upload a set of words and a student would play the spelling game, winning points when she was correct.
I learned that they need a Blindfold Student Pack focused on auditory processing deficits. They thought games such as Blindfold Racer, Blindfold Hopper and Blindfold Breakout could help these individuals: a student’s auditory attention would improve as he plays the game over and over again.
Several teachers requested a Student Pack focused on improving memory; games such as Blindfold Simon and Blindfold Sound Search would be great there.
For more information on the Lighthouse Guild, visit www.lighthouseguild.org