​3-D Printed Picture Books Enable Visually Impaired Kids to Read

HAROLD’S PURPLE CRAYON GOES 3-D: Early exposure to books goes a long way towards creating life-long readers. Now, visually impaired toddlers can enjoy picture books, too.

The University of Colorado’s Tactile Picture Book Project, led by CU Assistant Professor Tom Yeh, has used 3-D printers to publish prototypes of three beloved childrens’ books so far: Harold and the Purple Crayon, Goodnight Moon, and Polar Bear, Polar Bear, What Do You Hear? As reported in Boulder’s Daily Camera, the tactile books help toddlers develop cognitive abilities, memory, and (hopefully) a love of stories.

Although tactile picture books have been around for years, they’re expensive and hard to produce. Yeh’s team hopes to put together an online library of templates soon, so that as 3-D printers become more affordable, parents and teachers can print at home.

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