CBS Boston | Lego System Helps The Visually Impaired Reach New Heights At Rock Climbing Gym

Contemporary Improvisation student Matthew Shifrin ’21 is innovating with Lego to make rock climbing accessible for visually impaired climbers.

Matthew Shifrin ’21 is profiled on CBS This Morning for his use of Lego to create a rock climbing mapping system for visually impaired climbers. Matthew is also a composer and multi-instrumentalist at NEC in the Contemporary Improvisation department. After hearing about his innovations in rock climbing, we had a question for Matthew: are there any parallels between rock climbing and music making?

“Reading a Lego rock climbing route is like sight-reading a piece of music for the first time. It gives you an idea of what to expect and how to perform it,“ says Matthew. “Climbing that route after you've felt the map is like performing. Now you know what to do, since you've looked at the map/sight-read, and you can now focus on the performance itself.”

I think it’s really up to us to always be energized, as disabled people, or just people who think from a different perspective. Everyone deserves the thrill of doing something that they never thought was possible.
Matthew Shifrin ’21
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