Visually impaired students graduate with amazing 3D-printed "yearbooks"
Many people enjoy digging their high school yearbooks out, flipping through the pages, looking at classmates' photos and remembering special times of friendship and bonding. I admit I'm one of those folks. Sadly, though, the blind and visually impaired in South Korea haven't had the means to revisit their classmates' faces. Until now.
Thanks to South Korean printing company 3D TEK and the Touchable Yearbook Project, the 2014 graduating class of the Seoul National School for the Blind will be able to remember each other forever. Each student walked away with an incredible "yearbook" of 3D-printed faces, one that can be read by hands.
Yes, there are traditional yearbooks out there with Braille added, but that's missing the point. Blind students can read the text in such a case, but that's it. Each Touchable Yearbook consists of small, incredibly detailed busts of the faces of all the students, and each bust is fitted with a name tag in Braille.
For children who "see" the world and their classmates through their hands, this 3D-printed product is a dream come true. For the rest of their lives, they'll be able to not only remember each others' names but visualize that person, a small thing that many of us take for granted.
Watch Seo In Guk and Shin Sung Rok use face reading to place a rightful king on the throne in The King’s Face:
Check out the project and the results in this AD STARS video.
The rewards of this treasured gift don't stop there.
By receiving their yearbooks, these graduates are being exposed to this innovative technology firsthand. Their young minds are being opened to just how much 3D design and printing can benefit them and others around the world who have special needs. Creative seeds are being planted for the future.
The Touchable Yearbook Project was entered into the Ad Stars Festival's award show back in August and took home a Silver Medal. We can certainly see why. The joy on these children's faces is so heartwarming. What an amazing story!
Have you seen other projects out there that benefit the visually impaired? What do you think about Touchable Yearbooks?
Video screenshots: Stephe Thornton
Stephe is a fantasy and paranormal writer who lives for Anime, Doctor Who, telenovelas, and Korean dramas. She co-founded Cloud USA, a Rain (비) fan site for English speakers, with her best friend Terri and enjoys sharing interesting tidbits on DramaFever in her spare time.