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The slightest sketch of a pencil may just mean the world. Glifo, a 3D printed custom aid that helps children with disabilities achieve autonomy in writing and drawing, has a new design and it is lighter and easier to use.

Open Dot and TOG Foundation are launching a Kickstarter campaign for it aimed to raise funding to develop an online configurator that will enable anyone to personalise their own Glifo, tailored to their specific needs and taste.The configurator will allow users to be able to choose the correct dimensions, tilt, and colour, using a simple and accessible interface.The idea of Glifo was born to satisfy a specific need: help children with a complex neurological disorder write and draw so that they could leave their marks. A need brought up by therapists, as they witnessed how important it was for children to engage in these activities, like their schoolmates, and even more if they could do it autonomously.

TOG therapists needed an aid that would support children as well as stimulate them, a tool that would enhance their capabilities despite the complexity of their pathologies.This aid had to reduce the contraction of the hand, but it also needed to be easy to use, nice to look at, suited for both at school and at home, and most important tailor-made to fit each user.It was back in 2014 when the first Glifo was developed as the result of an intensely collaborative process by OpenDot’s makers, therapists, designers and students together with the families of children with these impairments. The outcome was a functional, low-cost, accessible, beautiful and therefore inclusive solution that, thanks to 3D printing, could be tailor-made for each child.Glifo’s latest design is lighter, smaller, easier to use and capable of holding more types and sizes of pens, pencils and markers to let kids choose how they channel their creativity.The campaign helps to make sure that everyone who needs a custom made Glifo can create it online and have it delivered directly to their home.

The help received will be used to create the configurator, and will also allow us to donate Glifo to those who cannot afford it (the “Glifo Sospeso”, inspired by the Neapolitan “suspended coffee”, offered for those who cannot afford it),  to organizations, schools, associations and hospitals that work with children who may need it.

Glifo is part of a series of objects that goes under the brand of UNICO – a collection of

custom made aids designed to help children with disabilities achieve autonomy and quality of life – created by Open Dot and TOG Foundation.

This campaign is supported by careables.org, a project funded by the European Union.