The main objective of AMUSING project is to attend to the inclusion of students with visual impairment. This objective is addressed from a number of points, including service-learning methodologies that promote awareness of the needs of this group and the educational development of 3D printing skills. The 3D products can facilitate routines and empower the visually impaired students involved in their design, production and evaluation.
All these aspects have been taken into account in previous projects on which this project is based. The results of the previous innovative experiences indicate that working on this line, the established objectives are achieved, especially in terms of training students with visual impairment and raising awareness towards this “minorized” group.
The possibilities that the new 3D printing technology offers to the visually impaired community are enormous.
The experiences of the European museums around the tactile exhibitions have as reference the main three typhlological museums of the continent. It is very interesting to transfer that knowledge to conventional museums and, in addition, to link it with successful educational practices.
This project combines social and educational inclusion, art, science and technology, formal and non-formal education to offer alternatives for accessibility to museums, combining the experience and knowledge of multiple institutions throughout Europe.
In general, it is proposed to use 3D printing to bring museums closer to this community, combining usefulness with good school practices of service learning and improvement of technological skills. The participating educational centers will generate pieces in 3D and will collaborate in all the proposed results (catalogs, blogs, webs, exhibitions, etc.) from a service learning methodology.
The expected impact is clearly visible. There will be effects, both in awareness-raising about the visual impairment (among the participating students), and in improving the life conditions of the final users of the 3D objects. All the necessary means of diffusion will be used to guarantee its visibility. Likewise, the sustainability of the project is ensured both by the long “useful life” of the objects generated (permanent regarding their designs), as well as by the didactic methodology used. It will be easily replicated in successive years and surely, will leave a mark (in values) in the participating students.
In order to guarantee the success of the project, we have tried to ensure that the partnership covers the maximum aspects. The partners include a governmental institution with deep attention to education, and culture and with a lot of museums under its control; a company that produces 3D printing equipment and solutions; an educational regional institution; several educational centers where there are visually impaired students enrolled; a Na National Art Gallery (division of Lithuanian Art Museum) and two tactile museums. In addition, the geographic location of the partners (Greece, Lithuania, Spain and Italy) ensures sufficient variety to generate the corresponding synergies, providing very different visions of the project approach, thus ensuring an adequate European dimension.