LEGO Braille Bricks Put Inclusive Play at Your Fingertips

Now parents of blind and visually impaired children will also need to watch their step: a new kind of LEGO brick is set for release in 2020.

The Lego Group, the Danish toy company that makes the popular building block, has repurposed their hallmark knobs into braille dots.

“With thousands of audiobooks and computer programs now available, fewer kids are learning to read braille,” said Philippe Chazal, treasurer of the European Blind Union. “This is particularly critical when we know that braille users often are more independent, have a higher level of education, and better employment opportunities.”

In addition to the braille, each brick will have the corresponding printed letter or character, so all students can join in on the fun together.

“Blind and visually impaired children have dreams and aspirations for their future, just as sighted children” said John Goodwin, CEO of the LEGO Foundation. “They have the same desire and need to explore the world and socialize through play, but often face involuntary isolation as a consequence of exclusion from activities.”

With printed letters, numbers, and symbols, the new LEGO Braille Bricks can be enjoyed by all. PHOTO COURTESY OF THE LEGO GROUP

The final LEGO Braille Bricks kit is expected to launch in 2020 and will be distributed free of charge to select institutions through participating partner networks. Each kit will contain approximately 250 LEGO Braille Bricks covering the full alphabet, numbers 0-9, select math symbols, and inspiration for teaching and interactive games.

“We strongly believe LEGO Braille Bricks can help boost the level of interest in learning braille, so we’re thrilled that the LEGO Foundation is making it possible to further this concept and bring it to children around the world,” said Chazal.