The Amber Trust are a charity supporting blind children through music. I worked with them to produce an online resource that helps blind children communicate using music.
The Amber Trust created a set of 48 activity cards to enable blind or partially sighted children to engage with music by providing families and professionals with resources and ideas for music-making. The project was named AmberPlus.
I worked with them to design and build a duplicate version of the cards to use online, with the additional functionality of songs to join in with.
What I did
After creating a site plan we did some research into how the cards would be used. On top of the normal website users Amber have a team of practitioners, trained professional musicians that visits families at their homes. The site needed to also work as a resource they could use when running music sessions.
The main areas of the site are the cards and the music resources. The cards are broken out into the three levels and within each level there are four types (Reactive, Proactive, Interactive and Me). Colours are used in both the printed and online cards to help separate out the types.
After discussions about the pros and cons of including a sign up Amber decided they wanted to ask users to give basic details before being able to use the site. This way they could track the number of users providing them clear usage data for future fundraising projects. They could also get a much better idea of who was using the site and how the content was providing support for families and children.
The AmberPlus project is still currently in use. There are over 1000 users on the AmberPlus and Little Amber sites. The sites are being translated into multiple languages to support parents and carers around the world. The resources are being used by a network of Music Practitioners across the UK that visit families in their homes to support them with the music activities. The AmberPlus project is helping blind and partially sighted children communicate and have fun through music.
Personally working with The Amber Trust has been one of the most rewarding projects I have been lucky enough to be involved with. I look forward to working with them more the future.
Andrew was brilliant to work with on the AmberPlus project. He is one of those rare people working in IT who really listens to the customer, and is responsive to ideas throughout the project. The result is a platform that does exactly what The Amber Trust needed for the families it supports. The AmberPlus website has been completely reliable and has worked perfectly without ever going wrong. However, when we've wanted to tweak things from our end, Andrew has always been quick to respond and make the amendments that we've needed in a timely fashion. Andrew always 'goes the extra mile'. I couldn't recommend him highly enough.
Professor of Music, University of Roehampton in London Amber Trust Founder