With today’s advanced technology, we rarely hear the words “that’s impossible.”
There is no excuse with all the technology in the world should a person who has a difficult time processing something suffer.
In this case, blind students who cannot get the full effect of sex education. In a typical sex ed class, teachers rely on videos to teach students on the reproductive system.
While this barely educates a person who is fully capable of seeing, it doesn’t benefit the blind at all. Advocates and researchers got together and created 18 different 3D printed sex organs, all in a various independent phase of arousal.
This includes a flaccid penis to an aroused vagina. While this may sound like sex toys to many (can be), this allows blind students to get a better understanding of the organs.
Dr. Gaylen Kapperman, a professor at Northern Illinois University who is associated with the 3D printed organ project, told Mashable in an email,
“That approach does a blind student no good whatsoever because they of course, cannot see the pictures and videos.”
According to Kapperman, the only way a blind student can fully grasp the knowledge of sex ed is by actually feeling an object. Without being able to feel something real, it leaves room for questioning.
“3D models are the only types of models that make any sense to blind people,” “Many people believe that if you provide raised-lined 2D tactile pictures of sex organs that blind people will be able to generalize this information. [That approach] makes no sense whatsoever for blind persons.”
Researchers at Benetech, a nonprofit organization that creates technology to benefit people, feels that this is not only going to be beneficial to the blind, but also to sighted students.
Experts believe this technology is the future of how all sex ed classes will be taught. Once all schools own 3D printers, it will be cost effective to make.
But, for the schools that don’t have this printer, to purchase a 3D sex organ can cost up to $500 making many schools unenthusiastic to adopting this new approach.
To real test is if 3D printing will really benefit all students, according to Mashable,
“Benetech partnered with LightHouse for the Blind and Northern Illinois University, where the models were first tested on blind college students. The project was funded entirely by a private Benetech donor.”
This Spring, the prototypes will enter middle schools and high schools to get feedback from students. Depending on their responses, Benetech will offer training with details on how to print these organs for classroom use.
According to Dr. Lisa Wadors Verne, program manager of education and partnerships at Benetech,
“It is our hope that these models will be an effective teaching tool for teachers to communicate sex education in a way that works for students who are blind and visually impaired.”