LEGO offers inclusive new Braille Bricks to help kids who are vision impaired
2 September 2020 at 5:55 pm
The bricks are expected to launch in Australia early next year
Children with vision impairment will be given the chance to develop new skills and learn the Braille writing system in a fun new way, with the launch of LEGO Braille Bricks.
The LEGO Foundation and the LEGO Group have unveiled LEGO Braille Bricks in seven countries – including France, the UK and USA – following a successful pilot project in April 2019.
The bricks are designed to help children with vision impairment develop tactile skills and learn the braille system, with the bricks moulded so that the studs on top reflect individual letters and numbers in the Braille alphabet.
These bricks also feature printed letters, numbers and symbols so that they can be used simultaneously by everyone in a collaborative and inclusive way.
Stine Storm, senior play and health specialist at the LEGO Foundation, said they were thrilled to launch the program and get the toolkits into the hands of kids.
“Throughout the testing and pilot program, we have received overwhelming support and positive feedback from children, parents, teachers and partner organisations who have experienced the LEGO Braille Bricks and see the potential of these toolkits to encourage learning in a new and exciting way,” Storm said.
“The possibilities for learning through play are endless, and we look forward to seeing how this can inspire children in their journey to learn braille.”
The concept behind the bricks was first proposed by the Danish Association of the Blind in 2011 and again by the Brazilian-based Dorina Nowill Foundation for the Blind in 2017.
LEGO Braille Bricks toolkits will be distributed for free to select institutions, schools and services that educate children with visual impairment.
Paige Maynard, a teacher and developmental interventionist at Visually Impaired Preschool Services in Louisville, USA, said LEGO Braille Bricks will be helpful in bringing together different kinds of learners.
“Students with visual impairments will be able to play and learn alongside their sighted peers. The bricks bring the joy of play into braille and tactile skills instruction,” Maynard said.
“They help remind us that the most impactful and long-lasting learning occurs when children are actively engaged in activities they enjoy.”
LEGO Braille Bricks are expected to launch early next year in 13 additional countries, including Australia, New Zealand and the Netherlands.