Serviceplan Health & Life have teamed up with the L V Prasad Eye Institute in India and leading educational toy company Ravensburger to create Fittle, 3D printed Braille puzzles that make education for millions of visually impaired children more accessible and engaging.
12 March 2018 — An innovative and affordable new way for blind and visually impaired people to learn and discover, Fittle models can be downloaded from the Fittle website and 3D-printed at almost zero cost, meaning that learning Braille becomes more accessible than ever. To further complete the Braille literacy puzzle, the Fittle Project is raising funds to provide 3D printers to communities in developing countries who couldn’t afford expensive learning devices in the past. There is a growing range of Fittle models including a Rocket, Mouse, Violin, Fish, Boat, Key and Crown, which will cover the entire alphabet. The puzzles have been created by experienced puzzle designers for the most engaging learning experience and are free to download: fittle-project.com
Serviceplan are working with the L V Prasad Eye Institute in India, where there are 22 million visually impaired people, a significant majority of whom end up unemployed, illiterate and with low socio-economic status, due to financial constraints preventing them access to education at a young age. The existing Braille learning educational tools are either too expensive to make them accessible, or not engaging enough to encourage interaction. To address this problem, Serviceplan Health & Life partnered with Dr. Anthony Vipin Das and team at the L V Prasad Eye Institute in India (LVPEI) and Ravensburger, the world’s leading company for puzzles and educational toys, to develop Fittle, the world’s first 3D printed Braille puzzle.
The Fittle film will be shown in movie theatres in India, managed by the Prasads group, as a public service message to increase awareness of the educational aspect of the 3D Braille Puzzles, and an explanation of how to download the template for printing the puzzles.
Dr. Beula Christy, Head of the Institute for Vision Rehabilitation, L V Prasad Eye Institute commented: “Fittle opens a new avenue for children with visual impairment to explore the world around them to its closest possible reality. Besides being a motivator to learn Braille, this amusing recreational toy influences overall development through a constructive playtime.
The learning opportunities of Fittle are huge, beginning with fine motor activity to enhanced higher level cognitive functioning such as attention, focusing, problem solving, object permanence, concept learning and much more. With this collaborative initiative, L V Prasad Eye Institute and Ravensburger look forward to provide the gift of knowledge and holistic development to special needs children the world over.”
Accessible and engaging, each puzzle is divided into parts equal to the amount of letters, which when combined form the word and object. A line at the bottom of the puzzle combined with different shaped connectors, enable visually impaired children to find the right combination and understand how to spell simple words such as Fish in Braille, whilst at the same time getting a sense of the shape of the object.
The idea behind Fittle was first conceived by Tania Jain, a designer from the National Institute of Design in Gandhinagar, India (http://taniajain.com) under the mentorship of Dr. Anthony Vipin Das, Associate Director at the L V Prasad Eye Institute (LVPEI) during a ‘DIY workshop’ in Hyderabad, organized by LVPEI and the Camera Culture Group of Ramesh Raskar from MIT Media Lab.
Ravensburger, committed to giving children access to education since 1883 under the motto ‘learning by doing’, partnered with LVPEI, Service plan Health & Life and Service plan Innovation as part of their corporate social responsibility program to bring the concept to reality at large scale, using their expertise in puzzle design and 3D printing to develop a growing collection of 3D printed Braille puzzles covering the entire alphabet, specially designed to be 3D-printed at only $0.5 material cost per puzzle.
To bring these innovative learning tools to the hands of the visually impaired, Ravensburger together with their customer base of puzzle enthusiasts around the world, is raising funds for the 3D printers which are set up in the regional LVPEI centers to distribute Fittle puzzles for free across the LVPEI network of over 190 local eye care centers across India, reaching 2.5 million patients.
Relying on 3D printing for production has many advantages for the project: Not only is it cheaper than mass production at the current scale, it’s also much more flexible, allowing to constantly design, test and improve new models as well as instantly reproduce single parts gone missing, which is especially important when dealing with blind children. In comparison to other Braille learning tools, using Fittle LVPEI can educate multiple more people with the same budget: $10,000 can provide 4 digital Braille readers, 200 Braille books – or one 3D printer and 16,000 Fittle puzzles, with 12 puzzles covering the Alphabet.
Feedback of eye care centers where Fittle has been used for Braille education has been outstanding. The “learning through play” concept effectively boosts the child's creativity and motivates them to want to learn more. So far, after the soft-launch of the project, enough 3D printers have been provided to the strategically most relevant locations to produce up to 50 models per day, with more donations coming in and more 3D printers being delivered as the project continues to raise awareness globally.
Christian Bulla, Head of Marketing, Ravensburger: “As an international company dedicated to the playful development of children worldwide, our support of Fittle is a natural fit. Ravensburger’s core values are joy, education and togetherness, so it’s incredible to be involved with a project that clearly embodies these values to help children around the world.”
Christophe Bohlender, Creative Director Text, Service plan Health & Life commented: “As an agency we are truly driven by innovation to excite our clients. Fittle combines state of the art technology with a creative product idea to make a difference in the lives of many children around the world. To be part of this project is really exciting for me.”
View the film here: https://youtu.be/aN4tUM34Xqo
NOTES TO EDITORS:
Designer: Tania Jain
Head of Marketing: Christian Bulla
AGENCY: Serviceplan Health & Life and Serviceplan Innovation
Global Chief Creative Officer, Serviceplan: Alexander Schill
Managing Partner: Matthias Harbeck, Serviceplan
Creative Partner: Mike Rogers, Serviceplan Health & Life
Creative Director: Christoph Bohlender, Serviceplan Health & Life
Creative Concept: J Jackson, Serviceplan Health & Life
Senior Art Director: Sven Hartmann, Serviceplan Health & Life
Creative Director: Franz Röppischer, Serviceplan Innovation
Creative Director: Lorenz Langgartner, Serviceplan Innovation
Art Director: SaurabhKakade, Serviceplan Innovation
Junior Art Director: Pedro Nogueira Gropo, Serviceplan Innovation
Senior Motion Designer: Dennis Fritz, Serviceplan Innovation
Director of Photography: Chris Hirschhäuser
L V Prasad Eye Institute;
Dr. Anthony Vipin Das: Consultant, Comprehensive Ophthalmology Service
Dr. Beula Christy: Head of Services, Institute for Vision Rehabilitation
Senior Producer: MoniPichlmayer, ARRI Media - Creative Solutions
Colorist: Markus Baburske, ARRI Media - Creative Solutions
Recording Studio: Orange Sound Studios
Ravensburger, the brand of trust: The blue triangle is a seal of quality and a respected trademark with high brand awareness, especially in Germany. Behind the blue triangle, there is a family company that feels duty-bound to uphold values that are gaining in importance today. Games, books and art and craft products from Ravensburger not only give pleasure, they are useful, too; they shape hearts and minds. At the same time, they communicate values our society needs: enjoyment, education and togetherness. While having fun playing amusing games, children learn to think ahead, to accept losing graciously and even to obey rules. Art and craft products and puzzles foster concentration, imagination and children’s joy of doing things for themselves; picture books train the eye and help toddlers to grasp what they see and learn to talk. Reading aloud and shared activities create a sense of security and belonging. RavensburgerSpieleland, a theme park in a beautiful rural setting, brings families together to share the enjoyment of playing and learning.
ABOUT L V PRASAD EYE INSTITUTE
The L V Prasad Eye Institute (LVPEI) was established in 1987 at Hyderabad as a not-for-profit, non-government, public-spirited, comprehensive eye care institution. LVPEI is governed by two trusts: the Hyderabad Eye Institute and the Hyderabad Eye Research Foundation. The Institute is a World Health Organization Collaborating Centre for Prevention of Blindness and a Global Resource Centre for VISION 2020: The Right to Sight initiative. LVPEI has ten active arms to its areas of operations: Clinical Services, Education, Research, Vision Rehabilitation, Rural and Community Eye Health, Eye Banking, Advocacy and Policy Planning, Capacity Building, Innovation and Product Development.
The LVPEI pyramidal model of eye care delivery currently includes a Centre of Excellence in Hyderabad, 3 tertiary centres in Bhubaneswar, Visakhapatnam and Vijayawada, 18 secondary and 169 primary care vision centres that cover the remotest rural areas in the four states of Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Odisha and Karnataka.
ABOUT THE SERVICEPLAN GROUP
The Serviceplan Group is the largest and most diversified owner-managed and partner- managed agency group in Europe. Founded in 1970 in Munich as a traditional advertising agency, Serviceplan today has offices in 36 locations worldwide and more than 3,400 employees whose work regularly wins awards at national and international creative competitions. As well as Serviceplan itself, the additional corporate brands within the Group – the media agency Mediaplus, the digital agency Plan.Net, and the market research institute Facit – also rank among the market leaders in their respective competitive environments. The precise interplay between the various specialist agencies – more than 45 in all – in matters of creation, technology and media makes Serviceplan the leading agency group for innovative communication.
In order to guarantee outstanding performance in the execution of its campaigns, Serviceplan is represented with own offices in all significant economic areas in Europe, North America, the Middle East and Asia. The global network is called Serviceplan International.
Global press contact
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Serviceplan International L.Sharrock@serviceplan-extern.com
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