GOING GLOBAL WITH THE

LOOMWORD PEN PAL INITIATIVE

 

INNOVATIVE GLOBAL CONNECTING THROUGH THE ART OF WEAVING.

Loomword is a language that can be read by all... regardless of vision, race, or nationality.

Loomword connects the world through the art of reading the invented text in the textile.

The Loomword Pen Pal Initiative is an experiment which sends woven words to decode throughout the world!

Success story: The Mayster Braille Loom has created a lasting relationship between the East Meadow School District in Long Island, New York, The West Virginia School for the Blind, The Dallas Lighthouse, and the Friedman Place for the Blind in Chicago, Illinois. The four institutions have become Loomword Pen Pals, weaving and sending woven words between residents with threefold results. This project fosters interaction that is in part a Braille teaching technique, secondly creating an understanding of textile design, and an important social experiment. Research at the National Federation for the Blind has shown that traditional forms of instruction reach a very narrow band of students. In fact, many students respond by disengaging when learning Braille on the Perkins Brailler. However, creative fun ways of learning through art increases interest, as proven on the Mayster Braille Loom. A weaver can use the Braille alphabet or Braille music notation signs to lift up different sets of strings, allowing the user to weave new textile patterns which increases Braille literacy skills and creates exciting and original textile designs.

There are currently 10 million blind or visually impaired people living in the U.S. That number is expected to double within the next few decades as millions of baby boomers continue to grow older. There are almost 100,000 blind or visually impaired school aged children in this country. The number of babies and young children suffering abusive head trauma climbed by 55 % in the months after the recession began in December 2007, according to a review of 511 cases at four children’s hospitals across the U.S.

The spike came during a period of rising unemployment, falling home prices and cuts to state and county budgets, including those that fund safety net programs to prevent child abuse. Less than 9% of these children are learning Braille! At the same time, there are only 12 colleges in the country that currently offer undergraduate degree programs for the visually impaired. Twelve! More has to be done to give children who are blind, visually impaired, or deaf-blind a real chance at educational equality. Braille equals print.


According to Braille Without Borders, 161 million persons live with a disabling visual impairment, of whom 37 million are blind and 124 million are persons with low vision. Every 5 seconds someone becomes blind, every minute somewhere a child goes blind. About 90% of them live in developing countries of Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Pacific Regions. 9 out of 10 blind children in developing countries have no access to

education.

Please consider helping Going Global with the Loomword Pen Pal Initiative!