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Mind Tab - the benefits of Mind Mapping with disabilities

Loïc Noel works at a project in Belgiumn called Mind Tab. In this article, he explains a bit more about the project and how mind mapping can have positive affects on disabilities (learning, physical and mental).

As well as being a technique which combines fun and learning, mind mapping has many advantages. Among these in particular is limiting the effects of certain disabilities, both phyiscal and mental. My team, who work in Specialised Education in Liege, saw the need for mind mapping in this area, and thus came up with this project, and we thrive to push it to its full potential.

At the moment, if students in Specialised Education are interested in making mind maps, there are only two types of tools available: the intuitive software called iMindMap (the only one able to meet any of our current needs) or paper and pencil format.
When digitial tools are used, the result is always the same: students still want and need to make a mind maps on paper. However, many things prevent or slow down students with multiple disabilities. Motor difficulties may prevent someone from grasping a pencil, and the path to their goals becomes complicated or impossible. Mental differences also require adaptation: sometimes the text can be read and understood, but ideally it should work with images and symbols.

An active engagement during all stages of the mind mapping process is key to the technique, as it can bring added value in relevant learning. Our dilemma is this: How to determine the right level of autonomy combined with necessary external help.

A project has been launched with the goal to respond, with our best abilities, to this legitimate desire. Mind Tab aims to be the instrument that would address this dilemma. It would allow more autonomy through ergonomic and adapted tools. The aid has been used on the ground in Specialized Schools and was approved by the students, who are active participants and the driving force behind this project. To share a few ideas of what we have achieved thus far; tablets are built with notches allowing the magnetized markers to be positioned more easily. Where drawing is concerned, the tablet can help with drawing on a sheet of paper thanks to a special marker.

With our deepest desire to make this project a success, we have a prototype ready to test the possibilities that have been imagined. We first need to engage more partners and secure funding before we can go any further.

For more information on this project, or to get involved in any way please do not hesitate to contact us! :

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Ruth manages our global mind mapping community: sharing news, stories, and updates! Community Manager de la communauté mondiale des mind mappers; je gère le contenu et marketing !
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