Did you know that only 10 percent of blind people in the world can actually read braille? A group out of India is working to increase this number with the launch of the FITTLE (fit the puzzle) toy—a playful 3D puzzle constructed together by blocks embossed with braille letters that are designed in the shape of the word the child wishes to spell. For example, the word “fish” joins together four blocks containing the braille letters F-I-S-H that connect together to create the look and feel of a fish. This new innovative teaching tool gives blind children an opportunity to see the world in an entirely new way. See FITTLE Puzzles in action after the jump.
The project, which originally stemmed out of a workshop with the Camera Culture Group and MIT Media Lab, is supported by LV Prasad Eye Institute, ORBIS and 3D Hubs. FITTLE is an accessible product and has been released as open source for anyone with a 3D-printer to download the FITTLE blocks from their website. The new toy tool is perfect for educators and parents trying to teach reading and visualization to children around the world.
“We believe FITTLE has the potential to change these childrens’ world. In the realm of education for the visually challenged, it’s a revolution. Imagine teaching a visually impaired child that Turtle spells as T-U-R-T-L-E, and enabling them to feel the turtle in their hands as they learn the spelling. Imagine a child’s joy at feeling the form of an airplane in their hands, especially after putting together the entire airplane themselves,” writes Anthony Vipin Das at GOOD.
Next on the horizon, the FITTLE team plans to add in sound and varying materials to give visually impaired children a greater sense of what they’re learning. For example, children will be able to hear the sound of a fish splashing in the water and feel the smoothness and texture of the fish based on materials used to build the blocks.
Support this project through Indiegogo.