Non-Profit Creates Braille Legos to Help Blind Children Learn
Lifestyle| | By Lauren Boudreau
We all know Legos – those painful things we step on when they’re strewn about the floor. But have you ever thought that the Lego design – with their bumps and edges – could be used for something like learning to read? One company is doing just that and repurposing those little building blocks into tools to help blind kids learn Braille. They’re called Braille Bricks and they’re awesome.
Braille Bricks are like oversize Legos, except the bumps on each brick form a letter of the alphabet in Braille. The invention comes from the nonprofit Dorina Nowill Foundation for the Blind and agency Lew’Lara\TBWA. The agency emphasizes how difficult it can be for children to learn to read and integrate with other kids. In a video clip released by the agency, a young girl by the name of Anny, who has “very strong nystagmus,” a condition that causes the eyes to move in rapid patterns therefore reducing vision, recalls how her teachers weren’t able to help her with her Braille typewriter. “She said, ‘But we don’t know how to use it. We can’t help Anny,” Anny’s tearful mother recalls. But then came the Braille Bricks. Not only do the bricks help children with reading, they also provide a form of play where kids can interact with each other, including sighted children. The invention is available for a limited run to about 300 children, according to Adweek, but the agency made the designs available under a Creative Commons license in the hopes that other companies will pick it up and produce them for a wider audience. If you feel down to make Braille Bricks a widely manufactured children’s toy, you can visit their website and write out a message (in Braille!) and send it to your social media accounts with the hashtag #BrailleBricksForAll. Seems like a good opportunity for both sighted and blind children to learn Braille and bring everyone together.
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