The project “Trainers for visually impaired students introduce 3D printing” is an initiative to improve the digital competence of visually impaired students. This will be realised by integrating 3D printing technology into the curriculum. 3D printing for blind and visually impaired students offers various advantages to create individual tactile materials. These two objectives will be achieved by a two-step strategy.
- In the first step, teachers and trainers for visually impaired persons will be introduced in the utilization of 3D printers themselves. This step should enable the trainers to create tactile teaching materials and tools for their participants and gain practical experience by using this technology regularly.
- The next step is to enable the trainers to use their acquired experience to instruct their students in 3D printing according to the methodological requirements of visually impaired students.
- As an additional result, the products that have been developed during the project will be published on an already existing 3D printing portal (Thingiverse) and on a new and open portal for products for the visually impaired, which will be developed and continuously hosted by the Austrian partner.
The starting point for this project are the experiences of the project coordinator, who has already successfully realized this procedure in his own company. In the results of this project, the special experiences and requirements of the project partners will be considered and transferred.
The project results which are developed in this project can be used by other educational institutions and teachers for people with sensory disabilities. Tactile 3D models, which are designed by the project consortium can be downloaded as STL file from the “Download page”.
Due to the visual handicap and the requirements for assistive devices, blind and visually impaired people are usually at a disadvantage when it comes to modern digital education. However, digital competence will continue to be a key factor in the probability of placement on the labour market in the future. In addition, 3D printing technology is an emerging innovation in the context of digitalization. In particular educational organizations need to educate their students in such technologies. In order to meet this requirement, trainers must be able to recognise and operate the technology in question and its potential. However, it is necessary that this topic is not limited to the STEM subjects, as is usually the case.
Another aspect is that tactile teaching and learning materials are still essential tools in the education of blind and visually impaired students. Such tactile materials are used in lessons of natural sciences, mobility training and all-day living skills. In vocational training tactile models are used in medical and technical subjects. Until now the production of tactile materials has been expensive and time-consuming. The more simple solution to work with swell paper, however, offers strong limitations in the three-dimensional representation and sufficient reproduction of details. The development of ever cheaper and more powerful 3D printers offers new opportunities for the individual production of versatile and affordable teaching materials.
|Berufsförderungswerk Düren gGmbH (Project co-ordination)
Karl-Arnold-Str. 132-134, D52349 Düren
|Fundacion ASPAYM Casilla Y Leon
c/Severo Ochoa 33, Las Piedras 000, 47130, Simancas Valladolid
|Hilfsgemeinschaft der Blinden und Sehschwachen Österreichs
Jägerstrasse 36, 1200 Wien
|Instituttet for Blinde og Svagsynede, IBOS
Rymarksvej 1 – 2900, Hellerup
|Istituto Regionale Rittmeyer per i ciechi di Trieste
Viale Miramare 119, 34136 Trieste
|National Rehabilitation Centre for the Blind, NRCB
24 Landos Str., Plovdiv, 4006, P. Box 11