Braille Bricks Released

Back in April 2019, we received word that the LEGO® Group was producing Braille bricks. Now, the long wait is over. Today, Braille bricks were released in seven countries. By early 2021, the LEGO® Group aspires to have Braille bricks available in eleven different languages and twenty countries. While Canada is not part of the initial seven, the Braille Bricks website already lists a partnership with the Canadian National Institute for the Blind (CNIB). The first seven countries are Brazil, Denmark, France, Germany, Norway, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

The press release describes the Braille bricks kit as follows:

LEGO Braille Bricks introduces a fun and engaging way to help children with vision impairment develop tactile skills and learn the braille system. The bricks are moulded so that the studs on top reflect individual letters and numbers in the Braille alphabet while remaining fully compatible with the LEGO System in Play. The bricks also feature printed letters, numbers, and symbols so that they can be used simultaneously by sighted peers, classmates, and teachers in a collaborative and inclusive way.

The LEGO Braille Bricks toolkit is accompanied by a pedagogical concept that is based on Learning through Play and includes inspiration for brick-based activities to enhance learning and skill-development. All of the pedagogical materials are available at www.LEGObraillebricks.com, a dedicated website that offers inspiration for pre-braille and braille activities to promote Learning through Play. However, the LEGO Foundation also plans to work with teachers of the visually impaired to continue to develop the LEGO Braille Bricks concept and is calling on teachers to submit more ideas to continuously expand the pool of activities. This interaction will be facilitated online in a Facebook group – LEGO Braille Bricks Community – where teachers can meet to share best practices, creative ideas and playful experiences with LEGO Braille Bricks.

Braille bricks are not available to the general public. The LEGO® Group has partnered with select institutions in each country, like the CNIB. Partner organizations will distribute the kit for free to other organizations that work with visually impaired children. Each box contains over 300 bricks covering the alphabet and numbers 0-9. Additionally, the LEGO® Group included select mathematical symbols and punctuation marks.

For more information about the Braille bricks released, visit: https://www.legobraillebricks.com/

Until next time,

-Tom

Video about how kids learn using Braille bricks (©2020 The LEGO Group).

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