Lego has stepped up their game with their legendary blocks by introducing braille bricks to help teach the blind and visually impaired youth. Lego’s new project is aimed at helping younger children that are blind and visually impaired learn braille in a playful and engaging way. People in the area that have been blind for years say they think these new Legos would do a great deal of good.
“You know, if they can feel it and know the sizes and everything, I’m sure they can feel the texture of them but if there is braille on it ..wow, that’s something else,” Mike Barnhart said, whos been blind for 11 years. Normally, Legos have studs at the top that make them easy to stack on top of each other. The new bricks will have studs that are characters in the braille alphabet, as well as printed characters allowing sighted people to read the bricks. They’ll also be fully compatible with existing lego products
“I think especially for children that would be great, it’s just amazing”,” Barnhart said. The Blind Industries and Services of Maryland say, this new concept is something they would use in their facility to help the youth that they teach transition into adulthood. “Braille literacy rates are really low among the blind community and braille is such an important tool towards employment and being successful as an adult,” Nikki Jackson said, a legally blind job readiness instructor. According to officials at blind industries, majority of their staff is visually impaired and say they want to purchase these bricks for their own use.
“It’s a lot harder to learn as an adult and I don’t think you don’t have as many opportunities open as early if you learn later in life I am a huge supporter of legos jumping on board of opening braille to so many kids,” Jackson said. The final set of bricks will be made up of approximately 250 bricks covering the alphabet, numbers zero to nine and math symbols, they’ll also be used for interactive games.
The new bricks will launch in 2020.