The wonderful folks over at 3D Tek have used 3D printing to create what they're calling the Touchable Yearbook for the 2014 graduation class of South Korea's Seoul National School for the Blind. Instead of getting a traditional yearbook full of pictures, which wouldn't mean a whole lot to them, the students are gifted 3D-printed busts of all of their classmates. Don't worry, there are only eight students in the class, so it's not like the students have to make room for thirty-odd statues.
It's a clever idea and before you dismiss it as impractical, which I almost did, make sure you watch the video below. I'll admit that my first thought upon learning about the Touchable Yearbook was that there are bigger problems to solve, but not only is that a naive attitude, it's an unsympathetic one, too. This small gesture probably means the world to these students. I'm in the group who looks back on high school with painful, awkward memories, but I'd be lying if I said I didn't enjoy flipping through my old yearbooks every now and again. This is a specific joy that blind students have never experienced. While the Touchable Yearbook isn't exactly the same thing, it's a clever solution and something that will help these kids hold on to cherished memories.