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The T4VIS-In3D project (Trainers for visually impaired students introduce 3D printing)

  • Austria
Scope of application
  • Assistive products and technologies
Type of organisation
  • Organisation representative of people with disabilities

Blind and visually impaired people are generally at a disadvantage when it comes to modern digital educational opportunities due to their visual impairment and the need for assistive devices. However, digital skills will continue to be a key factor in the likelihood of placement in the labour market in the future. In addition, 3D printing technology is an emerging innovation related to digitalization. Educational institutions in particular must therefore provide their trainees with further training in these technologies. However, in order to meet this requirement, teachers must also be able to recognize and operate the technology in question and its potential. It is essential that this topic is not limited to STEM subjects, as has usually been the case to date.

Another aspect is that tactile teaching and learning materials are still an essential aid in the education of blind and visually impaired people. Such tactile materials are used in science lessons, mobility training and everyday 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. However, the simpler solution of working with swelling paper offers severe limitations in terms of three-dimensional representation and sufficient reproduction of details. The development of ever cheaper and more powerful 3D printers offers new possibilities for the individual production of versatile and affordable teaching materials.

Project's goal.

Innovative technologies provide completely new opportunities for people with disabilities to become professionally active. The T4VIS-In3D project "Trainers for visually impaired students introduce 3D printing" takes a closer look at one of these technologies, 3D printing. Specifically, the aim is to create training materials and course content that will enable people with visual impairments to teach others how to use 3D printing and at the same time become confident enough in the use of the technology to be able to use this qualification in their professional activities.

The project.

In a first step, teachers and trainers for visually impaired people will be introduced to the use of 3D printers. This step is intended to enable teachers to create tactile teaching materials and aids for their pupils and to gain practical experience through the regular use of this technology.

The next step is to enable the trainers to use the experience gained to teach their pupils using 3D printing in accordance with the methodological requirements of visually impaired people.

As an additional result, the products developed within the project will be published on an existing 3D printing portal (Thingiverse) and on a new and open portal for products for visually impaired people.

More about The T4VIS-In3D project.

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