PRINT3D, a Service-Learning Project for Improving Visually Impaired Accessibility Through Educational 3D Printing
Well-executed service-learning projects are a high-value educational element. However, these projects commonly focus on overused topics and unbalanced executions which can produce the opposite effect to that desired when working with groups of people with functional diversity. PRINT3D is a service-learning project aimed at improving accessibility for people with visual disabilities while helping primary and secondary school students learn basic engineering skills through 3D design and printing. Under the support of the European Erasmus+ Programme, this project brought together nongovernmental organizations, teacher professional development centers, business enterprises, and educational centers to collaborate for two school years. The project activities aimed to promote empathy with visually impaired individuals, understand their accessibility needs, generate and prototype solutions, work collaboratively, and 3D design and print objects such as subway line plans, facility plans, signage, and artistic objects that are accessible to the visually impaired. The results of the project were increased motivation, social awareness, and technical skills, especially among students with a higher risk of dropping out of school.
Lozano, O. R.
PRINT3D, a Service-Learning Project for Improving Visually Impaired Accessibility Through Educational 3D Printing.
Journal of Pre-College Engineering Education Research (J-PEER), 12(1), Article 5.