Bricks with studs corresponding to braille numbers and letters have been designed to help blind and visually-impaired children learn through play.
Since 2020, Lego have been quietly distributing a groundbreaking toy – free of charge – to select schools and services catering for visually-impaired children.
The brand’s braille bricks were designed with the usual Lego studs, only these ones correspond to braille letters and numbers.
The product has been helping young children with visual-impairment in formal learning settings, but will now be available to purchase in Lego stores and select retailers.
It’s hoped that children will now be able to share in learning braille with their parents, whether the latter are visually-impaired or not.
Developments in technology have meant braille is becoming a secondary alternative for blind people when reading. But many blind adults have said they still like the freedom braille offers them to multitask by reading with their fingers.
At news of Lego’s new launch, blind parents took to X (twitter) to share their excitement. One blind father described the intimacy that using braille afforded him and his children.
‘I use braille every day, from work to reading to my kids. My 7 year old has been learning braille so that he can leave secret messages for me.’
Lego’s braille bricks signify more than just a new addition to the brand’s colourful arsenal. They’re a proclamation that inclusion matters, and that every child deserves the opportunity to explore, create, and learn.
Dave Williams, an inclusive design ambassador for the Royal National Institute for Blind People (RNIB), has said that learning braille via Lego would make the process less slow and dull, while using a recognisable toy ‘means it doesn’t feel weird. It breaks down barriers’.