Gills of Knowledge

Fittle Fish are 3D Printed Learning Tools for the Blind

Fittle Fish

Fittle Fish is an accessible learning toy for visually challenged kids. Playful puzzles help them learn new words and visualise object shapes.

First launched in 2013, Fittle is a brilliant initiative to help people who are visually impaired learn spelling of new words and understand the shapes of objects — all via the medium of playful 3D printed puzzles.

The first and most iconic of these puzzles is the Fittle Fish, which is constructed by joining together four puzzle blocks that have the braille letters F-I-S-H embossed on each piece.

A visually impaired child can fit the blocks together by feeling and matching the right shapes — which are designed with a line engraved on the bottom to ensure that  the letters are correctly aligned.

Once complete, they can read the word “fish” in braille and feel around the contours of the entire block to understand what a fish is shaped like.

With this method, children with vision impairment can be taught to comprehend the shapes of objects while learning the spelling of new words.

Fittle Fish Promotes Braille Literacy

According to Fittle, the statistics of the acceptance of braille in the current world are too low, and there;s a need for dramatic improvement, given how most of the current tools and solutions for blind people are based around the braille alphabet.

Available statistics from the USA, dating back to 2007, show that there are approximately 57,696 legally blind children in the U.S. Out of those school-age children, only 10 percent will use braille as their primary reading medium.

Fittle wants to engage more kids to learn in a playful way, so that braille becomes interesting for the visually impaired at an early age.

So far, there are four designs available to download from Thingiverse. In addition to the Fittle Fish, there’s also a Fittle Car, Train, and Cricket Bat.

Plus, Fittle have provided a regional list of schools for the blind. If you own a 3D printer, you’re invited to make and bring Fittle to a school near you. You can also get it printed at 3D Hubs and have it sent direct.

(Via: Adafruit)

fittle fish