DESIGN: Playboy in Braille

Blind people enjoy pornography too! That’s what you’ll learn when you pick up a copy of Playboy in braille. Although, if you don’t know how to read braille, you won’t know the difference between an ad and a description of something naughty.

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And although it will cost the ministry more money to have more textbooks in braille and in larger print, “the cost does not matter because there is a need”, the official said.

More braille books coming

An interesting quote from an article on braille and large print textbooks in Trinidad and Tobago. A lot of discussions in the US on accessibility focus on how accessible structures and programs will end up saving the government money or cost much less than people imagine. But the spokesperson from the Trinidad and Tobago Department of Education is saying that the cost isn’t important because people need accessibility.

12-Year-Old Invents Braille Printer Using Lego Set
A 12-year-old student from California has created a Braille printer by repurposing parts from a Lego set. Shubham Banerjee, a seventh-grade student from Santa Clara, Calif., developed the Braille printer using toy construction Lego pieces. The low-cost invention could be an accessible solution for blind and disadvantaged people across the globe, Banerjee said. The printer, dubbed Braigo (short for Braille with Lego), was created from the Lego Mindstorms EV3 set, which retails for $349. Banerjee also added $5-worth of additional materials, which means the finished product costs about $350. This makes Braigo much more affordable than other Braille printers, which can retail for more than $2,000, according to Banerjee. The innovative youngster developed Braigo to prove it is feasible to make an inexpensive Braille printer, he said. Banerjee now plans to make the project open-source, by releasing the design free-of-charge to the online community. “I’ll make this Braille printer and make the steps and the program software open to the Internet, so anyone who has a set can make it,” Banerjee said in a YouTube video about the Braigo project. (via 12-Year-Old Invents Braille Printer Using Lego Set | LiveScience)


Beyond Braille

Add Tactile Picture Books to the list of cool things 3-D printers can do. We’ve all experienced picture books with textured patches for itty bitty kiddie hands to graze over while they glance at the pictures and listen to the story. But not everyone has been able to have the same experiences. Until now, visually impaired children were left out of the picture part of picture books.

Thanks to the emerging technology of 3-D printing, classic storybooks like Harold and the Purple Crayon, The Very Hungry Caterpillar, and Goodnight Moon have become more accessible. The 2-D pictures in those storybooks have been run through a 3-D printer, resulting in the sculpted scenes pictured above.

Now that the 3-D printed images sit alongside the braille words, visually impaired readers can engage in picture book reading in a whole new way. The future of this technology hopes to put the power in the hands of the parent who would be able to snap a photo of a 2-D page, send it to a printer, and produce their own Tactile Picture Book for their own kids. 

Source: NPR