The new product – LEGO® Braille Bricks – Play with Braille – is aimed at kids aged 6+ and has been designed so that anyone who is curious about braille, be they blind, partially-sighted or sighted, can have fun getting to know the braille system at home with their family members in a playful, inclusive way.
Until now, LEGO Braille Bricks have only been distributed free of charge by the LEGO Foundation to organisations specialising in the education of children with vision impairment including Vision Australia locally. Since the launch of these educational kits in 2020, feedback from parents, carers, grandparents, children, and educators has continually highlighted the positive impact the bricks have and how they transform the way children with vision impairment can learn braille.
This overwhelming response has led to the creation of LEGO Braille Bricks – Play with Braille to give families the opportunity to enjoy the benefits and practise their tactile skills at home.
“As long standing partners of the LEGO Foundation, Vision Australia is proud to be a part of the launch of LEGO Braille Bricks to LEGO.com. Together, we have been distributing LEGO Braille Bricks to children who are blind or have low vision since 2021. By increasing access to this tool, children, and families outside of the blind and low vision community will be able to understand the different ways people who are blind or have low vision learn, access information, and interact with the world,” says Vision Australia CEO, Ron Hooton.
LEGO Braille Bricks – Play with Braille includes 287 bricks in five colours: white, yellow, green, red and blue. All bricks are fully compatible with other LEGO products and the studs on each brick are arranged to correspond to the numbers and letters in the braille system, with the printed version of the symbol or letter situated below the studs.
The set also includes two baseplates to build on and comes in packaging with braille embossing. To enhance the play experience and support pre-braille skill development, a series of supporting play starters are available on LEGO.com and will teach players how to orient, attach and stack the bricks through well loved games such as Rock, Paper, Scissors, which all members of the family can take part in.
LEGO Group Lead Designer on LEGO Braille Bricks, Rasmus Løgstrup says,
Play has the power to change lives; when children play, they learn vital life-long skills, so we were thrilled by the reception that LEGO Braille Bricks received in educational settings. We’ve been inundated with thousands of requests to make them more widely available, so we just knew we had to make it happen!
The LEGO Group is also pleased to announce that LEGO® Audio & Braille Building Instructions will now become a permanent offering. Inspired and co-developed by entrepreneur Matthew Shifrin who is blind, this experience gives builders the option of having select LEGO building instructions available as audio or text for braille readers.
LEGO Braille Bricks – Play with Braille is priced at $149.99 AUD and now available for pre-order in English and French versions ahead of launch September 1st 2023.
The LEGO Foundation will continue to carry out research and distribute LEGO Braille Bricks educational kits free of charge through partnering national blindness associations and other partnering organisations.