Meet Braille Bricks | An Experimental Project
This project might seem familiar to some of you and you’d be right! We visited Braille Bricks back in issue 2 - For Good. Learning and playing, these two things go hand in hand. But what if you could combine the two AND bridge the gap between children with and without visual impairment? So, what is it? It is a toy for literacy and the inclusion of visually impaired children.
Braille Bricks was created by Leandro Pinheiro and Ulisses Razaboni of the Lew’Lara\TBWA agency for visually impaired children who study at the Dorina Nowill Foundation in Brazil. The design itself is inspired by another similar block we all know and love and with a few modifications you have the whole alphabet available to you at your fingertips! The simplicity of its design is what makes it work and it’s a huge improvement on what children with visual impairments currently use - a braille typewriter.
One of the drawbacks of using a typewriter is you can’t erase spelling mistakes but with Braille Bricks you can just remove and replace the blocks. Learning by playing is a whole lot more fun and what Braille Bricks appears to do well is integrating children with visual impairments with other kids. It’s currently being used to educated 300 children across a few institutions and not yet available to most children in Brazil or across the world. They’re inviting the world to use the hashtag #BrailleBricksForAll to help encourage toy manufacturers to help turn their experimental project into a a widely available literacy tool for children worldwide.
UPDATE: On April 24, 2019 the LEGO Foundation and LEGO Group announced their support for this pioneering project that will help blind and visually impaired children learn Braille in a playful and engaging way using Braille customised LEGO® bricks. The project, LEGO Braille Bricks, was unveiled today at the Sustainable Brands Conference in Paris, France.