LightAide is a vibrant new teaching tool for people with low vision and cognitive disabilities. It displays colorful, engaging LED light sequences which can be adapted to the needs of the user. Its dynamic scope of fun activities range from turn-taking, color identification, and basic math to complex literacy practice, providing a bright, enriching experience for learners of all ages.
Features & Benefits
LightAide: Features & Benefits
LightAide boasts 224 bright multicolored LED lights that respond to switch interactions from up to four players at a time. It’s preloaded with ten activities (with the option to download more later) that range in level from easy to more complex.
For example, your child could work on simple activities designed to encourage visual tracking, taking turns or the understanding of cause and effect… or they could learn letters and numbers or sequencing and organizational skills. You’ll be amazed at all you can do with a board of 224 lights!
LightAide is portable and light weight and works with any standard assistive switch. The lights don’t get hot, so it’s safe to touch, and it’s super easy to set up. It’s pretty much ready to go right out of the box!
This would be perfect for kids with Cortical Visual Impairment (CVI) or any child who loves to play with light up toys or a light box. Some teachers are even thinking about using the LightAide as part of their functional vision assessment.
It’s a simple idea taken to a whole new level. Kids with visual impairments are often mesmerized by bright lights. So why not take this fascination and build on it?
- Activities designed to support all levels of learning
- Simple to set up, easy to use
- Up to 4 Learners can use simultaneously
- Safe and touchable surface
- Includes preloaded Starter Activity set that enhance Common Core and Expanded Core Curriculum
- Cause and effect
- Turn-taking, negotiation and other social interactions
- Visual tracking for pre-reading experiences
- Sequencing and organizational skills for literacy readiness
- Provides an enlarged, tactile learning experience for low vision children
Product Weight: 8lbs
Light attracts. Light dazzles. Light captivates. For these reasons and more, the LightAide is unlike any other educational tool in the classroom or at home. Its colorful display draws in learners. Its versatility captures their attention. Its brilliance sparks curiosity and imagination.
The LightAide’s potential as a learning tool is as limitless as the reach of light itself. Activities and programs designed specifically to enhance the LightAide’s educational value invite learners to build a variety of academic and Expanded Core Curriculum skills.
Working with teachers and therapists at Perkins School for the Blind, Philips developed LightAide. The initial prototype featured a grid of lights whose colors could be changed and sequenced by the teacher. A big, round switch made it easy for a small palm to gleefully pound away on it as the child reacted to the lights.
The wonder on the faces of children using the device showed that their minds were engaged, concentrating and organizing their thoughts. Imagine LightAide’s potential for leveraging that wonder into learning and communication.
Therapists can use it to help them assess how much a child can see. Teachers can use it to help them learn new skills and behaviors. For example, sequencing the lights can help children with numbers and letters. Physical therapists can use it to help a child reach and stretch. LightAide gives parents and family a new way to keep a visually impaired child engaged and involved in everyday life.
Educators and therapists at Perkins School for the Blind conducted tests and advised the designers. That interaction evolved into an increasingly sophisticated series of prototypes, incorporating feedback from teachers and students. Starting from a 7×7 prototype grid of 49 LED points of light, the final version of LightAide with 224 LEDs in a 14×16 grid features an oversized switch button manageable for little hands with limited motor skills. A control panel on the side allows teachers to choose from a variety of educational activities.
LightAide has the potential to allow the estimated 7 million people around the globe who are battling vision impairments to become more visually capable and more engaged in today’s society.
How it Works
LightAide: How it Works
LightAide is designed to help young, sight-impaired children develop pre-reading skills by sequencing lights in a left-to-right pattern, the way people read print or braille.
Early learners also practice essential age-appropriate skills such as cause-and-effect, taking turns, color identification, and basic arithmetic. LightAide has enough lights to create number and letter images for more complex lessons for older students.
Examples of LightAide activities include:
- Pressing switches to guide flashing lights along a line
- Pressing a switch to add lights to rows and columns to teach counting
- Pressing one switch, then another to move four flashing dots down a double row of lights, making blue and white squares as she goes
- Repeatedly pressing a switch to stack the color bands of a rainbow, watch the animation of a butterfly, or see balls bounce across the screen, demonstrating patterns
- Older children can press through the alphabet, seeing the large letters illuminated onscreen
The LightAide Standard package includes software and a starter set of 10 learning activities and a user guide. The LightAide Deluxe package includes software and a set of 66 learning activities and a user guide.
The Starter Set, which is included in the standard version of LightAide, focuses on initial tracking and identification skills.
- Watch the Colors Change Watch the Color Change Track the Column
- Track the Row
- Track the Spot
- Identify the Color
- Name the Moving Colors
- Take Turns
- Identify the Shape
- Identify the Bold Uppercase Letters
Games Activity Set
The Game activities, which are available for download after purchase of the standard LightAide kit, combine visual, cognitive and switch-based actions in a fun format.
- Walk the Dog
- Fun Icons
- Paddle and Ball
- Tic Tac Toe
The Visual Efficiency activity set focuses on goals within the Expanded Core Curriculum for sensory efficiency, focused specifically on vision tracking, cause and effect and use of functional vision.
- Watch the Wave
- Watch the Bubbles Grow and Pop
- Watch the Balls Bounce
- Watch the Pinwheel Spin
- Build Squares of Light
- Make All White
- Alternate Between Patterns and Solid Colors Make a Rainbow
- Bounce the Balls
- Make and Pop Bubbles
- Spin the Pinwheel
Visual Efficiency 2
Visual Efficiency 2 focuses on goals within the Expanded Core Curriculum for sensory efficiency, focused specifically on vision tracking, coordinating hand-eye movements, manipulating light and recognizing changes.
- Lava Lamp
- Track the Moving Snake
- Track the Moving Worm
- Track the Moving Block
- Track the Moving Spot
- Move the Snake in All Directions
- Move the Worm in All Directions
- Move the Block in All Directions
- Move the Spot in All Directions
- Track Spot Pattern
English Language Arts
The focus of this activity set is on goals associated with early literacy and beginning concepts for reading; including eye-tracking, letters and words.
- Match the Uppercase Letter
- Name the Lowercase Letter
- Match Upper and Lowercase Letters
- Trace the Uppercase Letter Shapes
- Trace the Lowercase Letter Shapes
- Read Sight Words
- Read Rhyme Words
- Form Two Letter Words
- Form Consonant-Vowel-Consonant Words
The Mathematics activity set focuses on goals in early mathematics for shape, matching, classification, numbers and counting.
- Match the Shape
- Trace Shapes
- Find Pair of Matching Shapes
- Pick the Different Shape
- Compare Shapes of Different Sizes
- Compare Lines of Different Lengths
- Compare Columns of Different Heights
- Learn the Numbers
- Match the Number
- Learn to Count
- Count the Blocks
- Count to 100 by Ones
- Build a Pattern with Colored Lights
Expanded Core Curriculum
This activity set focuses on goals associated with social interaction skills, independent living skills, orientation and mobility.
- Match the Color
- Choose Happy or Sad
- Choose Yes / No
- Tell the Weather
- Learn Left and Right
- Learn Directions
- Trace a Route (Travel Shape)