Learning plus fun for the visually impaired

BTR’s Gunn shows Chanidapa Petruk and BTR members the machine that heats the plastic and reshapes it into a thin wire. Photos by Thanakorn Vajirakachorn
BTR’s Gunn shows Chanidapa Petruk and BTR members the machine that heats the plastic and reshapes it into a thin wire. Photos by Thanakorn Vajirakachorn

Play is a great way to learn

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This story was written by Thanakorn (Gunn) Vajirakachorn about the work of his youth organisation, Between The Roots.

Between The Roots (BTR) is continuing to advocate for sustainability, this time in Bangkok.

BTR has partnered with the Educational Technology Centre for the Blind to supply visually impaired children with materials that they can play with.

Chanidapa Petruk, the director at the Centre for the Blind, told us how scarce interactive resources are for visually impaired children and was immensely grateful for any opportunities that provide the visually impaired with more of these resources.

Thus, BTR designed Braille Dominos, which can be used to lessen exclusion and allow both sighted and visually impaired kids to play together. This is because the braille dominos contain both the braille alphabet and the English alphabet, so both groups of children can use these dominos to play, and the visually impaired will feel less excluded.

Moreover, these braille dominos also help the environment. They are made using 3D printers because of their fast speed and ability to create a durable product. The 3D printer creates products by dispensing filament that is then melted into shape. This is where the environmental friendliness comes in: the filaments BTR used were made from used plastic bottles that were melted and reshaped into a thin string that can fit into the 3D printer.

After creating the braille dominoes, BTR was happy with how the children reacted to their new resource. They enthusiastically felt the letters and started to guess the English alphabet that corresponded with the braille alphabet and had lots of fun together.

Learn from listening

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  • advocate (verb): to publicly support - สนับสนุน
  • Braille: a system of printing for blind people in which the letters of the alphabet and the numbers are printed as raised dots that can be read by touching them - ระบบการพิมพ์อักษรเบลล์สำหรับคนตาบอด
  • correspond with (verb): to be the same as or match something; to be similar to or the same as something else - สอดคล้องกับ, เข้ากันกับ
  • durable: able to stay in good condition for a long time - ทนทาน
  • enthusiastically: in a very interested or exciting way - ด้วยความกระตือรือล้น
  • excluded (adj): prevented from having or participating in something - ไม่สามารถรวม, ละเว้น, กันไม่ให้เข้ามา
  • exclusion (noun): the act of preventing somebody/something from entering a place or taking part in something - การตัดออกไป, การกันออกไป
  • filament: a thin thread of material -
  • grateful: a feeling that you want thank someone because they have given you something or done something for you - สำนึกบุญคุณ
  • materials (noun): things that are needed in order to do a particular activity - วัสดุ
  • scarce: not easy to find or get - ขาดแคลน, ไม่เพียงพอ, หายาก
  • sighted (adj): able to see -
  • sustainability (noun): can continue doing activity for a long time - ย่างยั่งยืน
  • visually impaired (adj): with a decreased ability to see -

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