An ingenious tool based on Lego-style blocks and developed in Brazil is helping seeing impaired children and sparking global interest. They are called Braille Bricks and use Lego-style blocks as a Braille alphabet to teach visually impaired children to read. The idea has become so popular that there is an effort on Twitter to drum up consumer support with the hashtag #BrailleBricksforAll.
The concept is a new project from the nonprofit Dorina Nowill Foundation for the Blind and agency Lew’Lara\TBWA, according to an article in ADWeek:
They become a form of play that can also include sighted children, thereby better integrating those with visual impairments, and expanding their support networks.
The bricks prove to be a clever combination of the Braille alphabet’s six-dot configuration, and a classic children’s toy—so much so, it’s hard to believe nobody’s done it before.
According to the article, “A limited run of the toys is currently available to about 300 children, but Dorina Nowill’s marketing team released the designs under a Creative Commons license, hoping manufacturers would pick them up and bring them to a wider audience.”
“To that end, the group also created a website inviting viewers to create their own Braille messages in the style of the blocks, and is trying to drum up consumer support with the hashtag #BrailleBricksforAll,” AdWeek writes.
Braille Bricks are not officially associated with Lego, but the plastic pieces look identical to—and are compatible with—the building toy we all grew up with. The only difference is that some of the studs atop the two-by-three Braille Bricks are missing, so that they can represent the 26 letters of the braille alphabet.
For those interested in how this tool has been used, creators have uploaded a series of videos which you can watch below: