Tom and his Dad

Is Tom Rare?

It is Rare Disease Day and that makes me wonder if Tom is Rare? Tom is blind due to a retinal disease called Persistent Fetal Vasculature Syndrome. Only about 10% of infants affected by PFVS have it bilateral like Tommy does. Tom’s symptoms are close to a disease called Norrie’s disease but genetic testing and his…


The Walt Disney Magnet School in Chicago is launching a $40,000 3D printing lab. Okay, that’s cool. But guess what else they want to do with their 3D printers?

This school also plans to assist students at other schools. In particular, Disney is hoping to work with blind students at another school to teach ten to read braille. Students at the magnet school would create objects with accompanying braille labels, creating a new tactile learning system including the representations of the  objects and their braille counterparts.

That’s great! 3D printers are going to be an integral part of education for people who are visually impaired. Being able to print out a tactile representation of an item or perhaps a diagram or geometry problem will make learning much more accessible and fun for people who are blind or visually impaired. If I could read a book and then 3D print objects for tactile learning it would make books so much more meaningful to Tommy.

But I want the school to do more than help the blind students. I want them to share the 3D printer lab with the students who are blind. Help by teaching and letting everyone participate in this revolutionary technology. Don’t just make children who are blind into a service project for other students. Let them learn together! Read more in 3D printing Industry.