The undisputed champion of tactile learning toys is LEGO.
These seemingly simple bricks might have had a humble beginning but they are now a global phenomenon with mass appeal.
As an all-inclusive resource suitable for all ages, LEGO is hands-down a winner and can do no wrong.
But is it as inclusive as we might imagine? What about people that are blind or have sight problems? Surely, LEGO includes everyone and is accessibility-focused?
Well, fair play to LEGO for recognising that it could level the playing field a bit more and make bricks using braille.
LEGO Braille Bricks are a fabulous new product from @TheLegoFoundation that will help blind and visually impaired children learn Braille in a playful and highly inclusive way. The new bricks are moulded with the same number of studs used for individual letters and numbers in the Braille alphabet, while remaining fully compatible with the LEGO System in Play. Each brick will also feature a printed letter or character allowing sighted teachers, students and family members to interact on equal terms.
The idea behind LEGO Braille Bricks was first proposed to the LEGO Foundation in 2011 by the Danish Association of the Blind and again in 2017 by the Brazilian-based Dorina Nowill Foundation for the Blind. It has since been further shaped in close collaboration among blind associations from Denmark, Brazil, UK, and Norway and the first prototypes are now in those same countries for concept testing.
The product is being tested in four languages and is expected to hit shelves in 2020.