TORONTO STAR: For women who think small, a Radical improvement: DiManno

The 3-D toy fits like this. But it can also give you fits.

How one responds to the verbal instructions, whilst blindfolded, is a calculated lesson in empathy.

That’s the keyword for Ilana Ben-Ari, who invented the gewgaw, originally her thesis project as an industrial design student at Carleton University, and intended for the visually impaired so they could play with the sighted. But Ben-Ari envisioned something much bigger.

She’s in her third year as basically one-woman do-all for 21 Toys, the Toronto company she launched on her own dime as neophyte entrepreneur. And it’s been successful — the award-winning plaything is now being used by 1,000 schools in 43 countries.

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