Here at The Latch, we’re not ashamed to admit that we’re big fans of LEGO. From Baby Yoda LEGO to LEGO plants, to the IKEA x LEGO collaboration we’ll see later this month. And now, thanks to Vision Australia and the LEGO Foundation, LEGO Braille Bricks have arrived in the country — and some kids are getting to try them for the first time.
Marketed as “a playful introduction to Braille”, the LEGO Braille Bricks website says the new bricks are a play-based methodology that teaches braille to children who are blind or have a visual impairment. Each brick retains the iconic form of a LEGO brick, but in this collection, the studs have been arranged to correspond to numbers and letters in the Braille alphabet.
The printed version of the symbol or letter is displayed on each brick, meaning sighted, blind and low vision children can play and learn together on equal terms — with the option for family members and educators to take part.
On the website, you can find a range of activities for getting started with the bricks — divided up into pre-braille and braille activities. As the website states: “Each activity can be varied in the level of difficulty according to the child’s motivation and level of knowledge about Braille.”
Braille Bricks are not available for purchase and are considered an “educational tool”. However, according to ABC News, Vision Australia has been gifted 1,000 Braille Brick kits They’ll be distributed — free of charge — to schools that have students with vision impairment across Australia. If you’re an educator reading this, you can register an expression of interest on the Vision Australia website.
As for the hands-on reviews? 13-year-old Ollie Fanshawe told ABC News that, “It gets you to be creative and make images and words, so it’s pretty cool that you could be doing braille while having a lot of fun.”
Or as five-year-old Harlen Petersen succinctly exclaimed, “I love it.”