Michael Anagnos Initiative for the Blind

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Michael Anagnos Initiative for the Blind: 3D printing for the Blind !

All over Greece, GreeceLarissa, Greece
Year Founded:
2014
Organization type: 
hybrid
Project Stage:
Start-Up
Budget: 
$1,000 - $10,000
Project Summary
Elevator Pitch

Concise Summary: Help us pitch this solution! Provide an explanation within 3-4 short sentences.

Our Initiative will design, procure and organize together with Greek museums/galleries and with coordination with blind organizations the full access of blind people in the museums and galleries. Also we will use our equipment in order to produce quality educational material for the blind.

WHAT IF - Inspiration: Write one sentence that describes a way that your project dares to ask, "WHAT IF?"

What if all museums in Greece where accessible for the blind and 3D printed educational material for the blind was widely available !?
About Project

Problem: What problem is this project trying to address?

Greece as a society is really hostile against people with disabilities. You have to just walk a sidewalk in Greece to understand how people disregard the presence of people with disabilities in public space. They feel sorry but that is all. Moreover blind people in Greece have disadvantages over education as it is difficult for them to have access to the museum process and to quality educational material for the blind.

Solution: What is the proposed solution? Please be specific!

Our desire is to apply internationally accepted tools such as push-button audio boxes, Braille signage and tactile representations mostly with the use of 3d printing. The use of 3d printing will allow for a very cheap and easy recreation of exhibitions in a very fast, accurate and convenient way. My view is that with this initiative we will not only stop the social exclusion of blind people from cultural sites but we will also reignite the public dialogue for the use of public space from people with disabilities. This will happen by presenting to the public the idea that visually impaired can autonomously be part of our society without any obstacles. Also at the same time we will create quality educational material for the blind.
Impact: How does it Work

Example: Walk us through a specific example(s) of how this solution makes a difference; include its primary activities.

Consider for one moment being blind. What are your opportunities in education? Can you have access to art when most of it is perceived through vision? Imagine a blind person walking in the Acropolis Museum. Until now they could not grasp the magnificence of the art and neither be educated through the museum process. But we give a solution. We can make exact copies, tactile representations of the exhibits in scale printed in 3D. They could touch and feel it trying to recreate the object in their mind, while at the same time a sound system would provide with information needed.
Sustainability

Financial Sustainability Plan: What is this solution’s plan to ensure financial sustainability?

The future financial sustainability of the project is ensured by the ability of the Initiative to produce innovative designer 3D printed products for sale in order to finance its operations. Moreover once the equipment is bought the operational costs are really low which gives it good and long financial sustainability.

Marketplace: Who else is addressing the problem outlined here? How does the proposed project differ from these approaches?

No one in Greece is at this moment addressing the issue of full accessibility for the blind. Although some projects run in museums due to EU funding, those do not solve the issue through the innovative method of producing tactile representations and stick only to audio systems. Moreover, as far as I know, there is limited educational material for the blind produced in Greece. We are capable of filling in both those gaps.
Team

Founding Story

I was walking in the Athens metro station Acropolis after I had visited the Acropolis museum, when a blind person asked me for help with directions. This was the moment I realized that a construction project that costed millions didn't take any measures in order to be accessible for the blind. It didn't have any maps created for the blind or any other system, braille or audible. That was the moment where I started thinking that creating such maps, would be really easy and cheap if 3D printing was used. So from there on, I expanded my thought, brainstorming on everything that could be 3D printed in order to increase blind accessibility. It didn't took long until I thought about museum education and 3D printing.

Team

D. Vogias is the founder, responsible for the leadership as well as the technology utilized. He is assisted by the volunteer work of Tsapralis A. with good knowledge of 3D modelling. L. Vogias is working voluntarily as the person behind our marketing campaign, the website, as well as management and PR. V. Pekopoulou is an advisor on blind organization issues, braille and other aspects of cooperating with the blind.