29th September 2020 • Emma Cooper
Children with vision impairment across the UK are set to benefit from thousands of LEGO® Braille Bricks toolkits.
The Royal National Institute of Blind (RNIB) teamed up with the LEGO Foundation to develop the innovative new bricks. Braille Bricks are available to people educating children with vision impairment.
About the Bricks
LEGO Braille Bricks is a new way to help children with vision impairment develop tactile skills and learn the braille system. Each kit contains approximately 300 LEGO bricks. The specially moulded bricks have studs on top reflecting individual letters and numbers in the Braille alphabet. The bricks also feature printed letters, numbers and symbols so that they can be used both by sighted peers, classmates, and teachers in a collaborative and inclusive way.
Kits for schools and home-schooled children
The kits are the combined brainchild of the RNIB and the LEGO Foundation. They worked together to develop and test the new product. They will distribute toolkits to schools and home-schooled children from September.
RNIB Director of Services, David Clarke said: “We are excited to bring the LEGO Braille Brick toolkits to UK classrooms to help children learn how to read and write braille in a fun and engaging way. Braille is an important tool and these inclusive toolkits will make a real difference to children with vision impairment, allowing them to play and interact with their sighted classmates.”
A new way to learn
RNIB has also trained teachers and support staff working with children with vision impairment in the teaching concept. Although the toolkit is intended as a playful introduction to braille for younger children aged from four up, it has also proven to have learning opportunities and benefits for children in secondary school.
Senior Play & Health Specialist at the LEGO Foundation, Stine Storm, said: “We are thrilled to launch the first wave of the LEGO Braille Bricks program and get the toolkits into the hands of children. With LEGO Braille Bricks, students and educators can tailor their activities in countless different ways to meet their needs and learning goals in a fun and inclusive manner. The possibilities for learning through play are endless, and we look forward to seeing how LEGO Braille Bricks can inspire children of all ages along their journey to learn braille.”
Getting the kits
The toolkits are not on general sale. Presently, only heads of service at local sensory services can order them. Heads of service can also nominate an education professional from schools for children with vision impairment, or a QTVI (qualified teacher of children and young people with vision impairment), to place an order on behalf of their area. For more information visit www.rnib.org.uk/legobraillebricks