Braille Kits Allow Inclusive Learning and Play

This newly released version allows play with sighted friends and family.

Sep 22, 2023
Braille Kits Allow Inclusive Learning and Play | This newly released version allows play with sighted friends and family.

When the iconic Danish toy company LEGO introduced braille bricks in 2020, the sets were a big hit. The bumps on the bricks were designed to teach blind and visually impaired children braille in a fun way through play. Now, these specialty Lego Braille Bricks — Play with Braille sets will be  available for kids and families to play and learn at home.

There are 19 million children around the world that are visually impaired but many of them never learn to read braille. In fact, in the US, only 10 percent of blind children are taught to read braille, according to a report from the National Federation of the Blind. But learning braille opens kids up to a higher education and more employment opportunities.

“For blind and partially sighted children, and adults for that matter, it makes all the difference if they can share their journey of learning braille with the people they love the most. For the blind community, braille is not just literacy, it’s our entry to independence and inclusion into this world,” Martine Abel-Williamson, president of the World Blind Union said in a press release from the LEGO Group.

The LEGO Braille kits were given to organizations that partner with LEGO and specialize in working with children with vision impairment, according to the press release. The company will continue to provide these kits.

About LEGO Braille Bricks – Play with Braille
The response to the original braille kits was so overwhelmingly positive that the company decided to create the new version for at home play.

Lisa Taylor is the mother of Olivia, a 7-year-old visually impaired child who was introduced to the kit at school. Taylor said, “Olivia  first discovered LEGO braille bricks at school and they had such a big impact on her curiosity for braille. Before then, she found it hard to get started with the symbols but now she’s improving all the time.”

Taylor explained that having a set at home will allow Olivia to introduce braille to her little sister and allow her to play without being different from other children. “She gets to play and learn just like every other child. That makes her feel included which is so important, not just to Olivia but any child.” Taylor added.

The kits contain 287 pieces that work with all other LEGO products and the studs on the bricks correspond to the letters and numbers of the braille alphabet, reported TODAY. The baseplate used for building on also contains braille lettering. The new kits were released for sale now in English and French, with Spanish, Italian, and German versions becoming available in early 2024.

While the kits are made for children aged six and up, according to the press release, the kits are useful for families to learn with their kids, or for anyone of any age who is interested in braille. The set also contains two baseplates.

Inclusion is key
Instructions for the Play With Braille kits are available in audio and braille format and the company will make these instructions available for all other sets to allow blind people of all ages to enjoy building LEGOS.

The company has an ongoing commitment to make play experiences inclusive, according to the press release, and the new braille kits will allow for blind and low vision children to play together with sighted peers and family members.

To further this inclusion vision, LEGO has partnered with the mobile app Be My Eyes which connects blind people with sighted people to help with daily tasks.
“The fact that the LEGO Group is investing in inclusion is huge because so many people in the blind and low vision community already love and enjoy LEGO products,” Mike Buckley, chairman and CEO of Be My Eyes said in the press release.  “Be My Eyes is incredibly honored to partner with the LEGO Group to enable and inspire the creativity of blind and low vision builders across the globe.”

5 Initiatives Giving Sight to the Visually Impaired
Restaurant Moves Guest With a Braille Chocolate Birthday Message
Lego's Newest Bricks Teach Braille to Kids With Impaired Vision

Bonnie has dedicated her life to promoting social justice. She loves to write about empowering women, helping children, educational innovations, and advocating for the environment & sustainability.