LEGO is partnering with the Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB) to bring its pioneering Braille bricks to the UK.
The range was designed to aid children with vision impairments to benefit from inclusive play in the classroom. Around 300 LEGO bricks have been specially moulded so that the raised studs running along their tops represent letters and numbers in the Braille alphabet. They are also printed with the same characters to allow sighted and vision impaired children to play together.
The RNIB teamed with LEGO on the development of the special bricks. David Clarke, the RNIB’s Director of Services, says their introduction into UK classrooms will “help children learn how to read and write braille in a fun and engaging way”.
“Braille is an important tool and these inclusive tool kits will make a real difference to children with vision impairment, allowing them to play and interact with their sighted classmates,” he added.
The bricks first launched in schools and organisations in the US, and will roll out in Europe and other global markets in the coming months. The concept has been tested across various languages and cultural contexts and is ready to launch in six languages, including Danish, Norwegian, English, Portuguese, German and French. Four additional language versions will launch over the next six months, with the ambition that the concept will be implemented in a total of eleven languages across twenty countries by early 2021.
Stine Storm, Senior Play and Health Specialist at the LEGO Foundation, the toymaker’s philanthropic arm, said: “We are thrilled to launch the first wave of the LEGO Braille Bricks program and get the tool kits into the hands of children.
“With LEGO Braille Bricks, students and educators can tailor their activities in countless different ways to meet their needs and learning goals in a fun and inclusive manner. The possibilities for learning through play are endless, and we look forward to seeing how LEGO Braille Bricks can inspire children of all ages along their journey to learn braille.”
The Braille bricks will launch in the UK later this month, but will not be offered for general sale. The sets of bricks can only be ordered by local sensory services.