LEGO Bricks for Visually Impaired and Blind Kids Aim to Make Learning Braille Click
Great strides have been made to help people who are visually impaired adapt to life without eyesight. Now, an emerging LEGO product may revolutionize how blind children learn braille and encourage more interactive play with all kids.
Approximately 700,000 children and young adults in the United States have a vision disability, but as audio aids have become increasingly available, only about 8% of legally blind children are learning to read braille, according to the National Federation of the Blind.
LEGO seems to have found a way to turn its traditional blocks -- and all the fun that comes with playing with them -- into a first-of-its-kind educational tool, which could potentially make learning braille more exciting and collaborative.
The LEGO Foundation's project, LEGO Braille Bricks, aims to create stackable blocks with braille dots in addition to printed letters, numbers and math symbols, the company announced in a press release on Wednesday. The pilot program aims to help blind children play their way to learning braille.
The American Printing House for the Blind is coordinating with the toy company to begin testing the Braille Bricks in select schools starting in the fall 2020.
LEGO Braille Bricks are currently being tested in English, Norwegian, Danish and Portuguese, and they will soon be tested in Spanish, French and German. The Lego Foundation’s goal is to distribute Braille Bricks to associated schools for the visually impaired all over the world, free of charge.