Close your eyes and experience the world around you for a couple of minutes. I bet you can’t do that for more than 10 seconds. And why would anyone actually do that? The world is full of colors, beautiful shapes, and things of all sizes. There’s so much to see and rejoice on a daily basis.
This very world (in which we live unthankfully) is not the same for visually impaired people. In other words – Blind People. Although you, me or anyone with complete eyesight can’t even imagine the pain these people undergo on a daily basis.
Though we will try to sneak-peek into their world differently. How does it look like? How do they identify things, feel, read, make sense out of those tiny dots whom they call braille language?
Besides today’s SHOUT OUT is dedicated to – Nupur Agarwal. The reason is big behind Nupur being featured on Surat101.com.
Let’s see how Nupur, visually impaired community and tactile picture books are interconnected.
Who’s Nupur and What’s Beyond Braille?
To know who’s Nupur let’s talk about Beyond Braille because they are complementary. Beyond Braille is one of a kind unique illustration picture series designed for the visually impaired community supported with braille text for their understanding.
And it’s in the braille language. Beyond Braille is Nupur’s breakthrough research for the visually impaired to explore the world in pictures like never before.
In short, Nupur has designed and developed tactile illustrated picture books for the visually impaired. These books can be easily read by visually impaired children. However, not only visually impaired kids but also other age groups with visual impairment.
They will be able to sense the true shapes of objects & figures in the pictures while experiencing their true emotions. It is the same as you and me reading a storybook and enjoying what’s written in there.
How Did the Idea of Beyond Braille Originated?
The idea of Beyond Braille is amazingly extraordinary.
Besides the story behind it is even more amazing. Nupur started designing pictures series in the form of raised outline illustrations along with braille text. It was a part of her college project. This was when she was pursuing her university education.
Hence, what started as a college project soon became her motivation. She desired to bring the world of visuals to the visually impaired community. All this was to spark the love for reading that would last with them for a lifetime. This way she began working on her first prototype titled “Ranchhod Sees the World.”
The Concept, Story and Intense Research
The first book was manually crafted. Nupur used thread as the primary material. The story was printed using an old braille typewriter. The story and illustrations were conceptualized along with intense research.
Frequent visits to blind preschools were obvious. Meanwhile, she came up with an idea of 3D printing and brainstormed it producing on a large scale.
While doing this for months to come with trial and error, the joy of doing it kept Nupur determined. The first 3D printed illustration book for visually impaired soon become a reality and received a tremendous response.
The happiness she experienced when visually impaired children interacted with the book was out of this world. Kids were overwhelmed with the wisdom of touch. The excitement was on peak. In addition, they felt confident with a sense of belonging. It is because they recognized the shapes of the objects and figures in illustrations uniquely.
The whole moment was truly rejoicing because these kids were glued to the story. It was indeed a great pleasure to see her hard work finally putting on a smile on their faces. All in all, now people with visual impairments can enjoy stories, alphabets, pictures, and lot more in a 3D format as we all do.
Affordable 3D Printed Model
The illustration book could survive only if it was affordable. Hence developing a 3D printed model on a cost-effective basis was the need for an hour. Otherwise, the concept would meet its premature death. And Nupur was not in a mood to take NO as an answer.
A step further she explored and developed embossing methods and materials. It was affordable and similar to a 3D-printed book. The idea gained mileage and it was a hit. Finally, Beyond Braille had a cost-effective book design in a language for the visually impaired community!
Beyond Braille Recognition
For this project, she has also been selected as Top 100 “Women Transforming India”, a joint initiative by NITI Aayog and United Nations India. Not only this but local newspaper here in Surat published this unique concept. You can visit Beyond Braille’s official Facebook Page for newspaper articles.
For Instagram, click here – Beyond Braille Insta Page.
List of 3D Printed Books Published by Beyond Braille
- Basic Lines and Shapes
- Basic Maths
- English Alphabets & Numbers
- Hindi Varnamala Aur Ginti
- India Map
- Learning Opposites
- Ranchhod Sees The World
- The Hare And The Tortoise
- Visual Dictionary Edition-1, 2, And 3
- World Map
All the above books are available on their website. Additionally, you can order them on Amazon too. So what are you waiting for? If you know someone who could be interested just buy and send them right away.
Visually impaired children enjoying Beyond Braille’s 3D printed illustrations.
Look at these beautiful pictures. I feel immensely happy for these kids and grateful at the same time that I have people like Nupur Agarwal residing in Surat city.
It’s time for a shout out now. So, let’s do this.