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Lego Debuts New Braille Bricks To Help Teach Blind Children

It’s always heartening to see big companies doing their part to help others, especially when it comes to children in need. This is probably why people are so excited about Lego’s latest project which seeks to help educate students who are visually impaired or blind.

The popular children’s toy company Lego, recently debuted their latest projectLego Braille Bricks—which aim to help blind and visually impaired children learn Braille

The Lego Foundation

Lego Braille Bricks, a concept originally introduced to the company by two charities: The Danish Association of the Blind and The Dorina Nowill Foundation for the Blind, will fully launch in 2020.

Each brick will feature tiny studded characters of the Braille alphabet as well as printed characters for sighted people using the bricks. Lego says these new bricks will be “fully compatible” with traditional bricks made by the toy company.

@LEGO_Group

The final set of bricks will have 250 pieces including characters of Braille alphabet, numbers from zero to nine, math symbols, as well as “inspiration for teaching and interactive games.”

According to CNN, Braille Bricks are currently being tested in schools in Portuguese, Danish, English and Norwegian, while Spanish, French and German versions will be tested later this year.

The toys will eventually be issued free of charge to institutions through the efforts of partner organizations.

@LEGO_Group

“With thousands of audiobooks and computer programs now available, fewer kids are learning to read Braille,” said Philippe Chazal, treasurer of the European Blind Union.

“This is particularly critical when we know that Braille users often are more independent, have a higher level of education and better employment opportunities,” Chazal continued. “We strongly believe Lego Braille Bricks can help boost the level of interest in learning Braille, so we’re thrilled that the Lego Foundation is making it possible to further this concept and bring it to children around the world.”

According to the Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB), roughly a thousand children in England were learning Braille in 2017.

David Clarke, director of services at the RNIB hopes the bricks will “improve education for children with vision impairment and encourage inclusion.”

“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,” Clarke added.

@LEGO_Group

The senior art director for the Lego Group, Morten Bonde, is losing his sight to a genetic eye disorder, said in a statement: “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.”

h/t: CNN

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Written by Emily Burns

Writer and editorial specialist based out of Austin, TX.