Visually impaired children will soon be able to learn Braille through play, thanks to toy company Lego which has reportedly come up with Braille bricks to encourage learning in a “playful and engaging way”.
The Lego Braille bricks, to be launched in 2020, feature studs used for characters in the Braille alphabet, along with printed characters for sighted people to read.
We’re super excited to introduce LEGO Braille Bricks – a new product from @TheLegoFoundation that will help blind and visually impaired children learn Braille in a playful and inclusive way! pic.twitter.com/48cqYEZ54t
— LEGO (@LEGO_Group) April 24, 2019
The idea was suggested to Lego Foundation by The Danish Association for the Blind in 2011, followed by Brazil-based Dorina Nowill Foundation for the Blind in 2017.
The set will comprise 250 bricks, covering the complete Braille alphabet and the numbers zero to nine. The bricks are currently being tested in Portuguese, Danish, English and Norwegian in schools. The Spanish, French and German versions will reportedly be tested later this year.
“This is particularly critical when we know that Braille users often are more independent, have a higher level of education and better employment opportunities,” Philippe Chazal, treasurer of the European Blind Union, was quoted as saying.
David Clarke, director of services, Royal National Institute of Blind People in UK, added, “Thanks to this innovation, children with vision impairment will be able to learn Braille and interact with their friends and classmates in a fun way, using play to encourage creativity while learning to read and write.”
“Experiencing reactions from both students and teachers to Lego Braille Bricks has been hugely inspirational and reminded me that the only limitations I will meet in life are those I create in my mind,” said Morten Bonde, the senior art director for the Lego Group.