Lily LightAide™ arrives at The UAH Rise School


Students at UAH Rise School are drawn to the light and movement of Lily LightAide, an LED teaching device specifically designed for children and adults with learning disabilities.

Michael Mercier | UAH

Last spring, The University of Alabama in Huntsville (UAH) Rise School participated in a national competition to win a Lily LightAide, an innovative LED teaching device specifically designed for adults and children with learning disabilities.

While Rise didn't win the contest, staff members were so impressed with the unique learning tool that students recently welcomed a brand new Lily LightAide at the school. The LED teaching device aids adults and children with learning disabilities such as Cortical Visual Impairment (CVI-visual impairment caused by brain injury), Autism and ADHD.

"The competition last spring was an exciting time and all children were given opportunities to use the Lily LightAide," said Deana Aumalis, Director of the UAH Rise School. "Both traditional learners and students with special needs benefited from interactions through the use of the learning tool. Children with cortical visual impairments will have the most benefit from this device, however it is a tool that motivates all learners. We are happy to have the Lily LightAide at Rise and the teachers and children are enjoying it daily in the classrooms."

Aumalis said Rise teachers plan to use the teaching device to assist in meeting individual student goals such as tracking, cause and effect and switch usage. The switches (independent usage) offer children with limited motor skills, the ability to control and participate in just about everything. Lily LightAide encourages student interaction by:

  • Teaching children basic concepts such as cause and effect, taking turns and identifying/building patterns
  • Setting the foundation of pre-literacy skills by encouraging learners to practice visual tracking from left to right, a skill crucial for literacy
  • Introducing mathematical concepts such as basic counting skills, identifying numbers and building patterns with blocks

The teaching device's 224 bright multi-colored LED lights do not get hot and respond to switch interactions with up to four players at a time. It is preloaded with several learning activities.

"I expect LilyLightAide to have a positive impact on student learning at Rise," said Aumalis. "It will be a tool to improve cognitive skills (matching, learning letter and number concepts) as well as improving social interactions including turn-taking and sharing."

All classes at the UAH Rise School will have access and use Lily LightAide on a rotating basis. "Caterpillar Class (ages one-two), Butterfly Class (ages two-three), Frog Class (ages three-four) and Owl Class (ages four-six) will all benefit from use of the learning tool in their educational class. Each class will work on skills at their developmental level and adapt lessons for 'Lily' to meet the needs of learners in their class," Aumalis added.

Additionally, Aumalis said, 'Lily' is the perfect tool to be used in an integrated setting where a traditional learner can be paired with a child with special needs. "Every child at the UAH Rise School can benefit from 'Lily'."

Learn More


Deana Aumalis