SALT LAKE CITY — It’s one of the biggest children’s toy brands in the world, and on Wednesday Lego announced it will be bringing its product to even more children with “Braille Bricks,” Lego bricks designed especially with blind and visually impaired children in mind.
“We’re super excited to introduce LEGO Braille Bricks — a new product ... that will help blind and visually impaired children learn Braille in a playful and inclusive way!” Lego wrote in a Twitter post about the bricks.
According to Lego’s tweet, the Lego Foundation is piloting the bricks which have a series of dots on them representing Braille letters, numbers and a few math symbols. The bricks were created for both blind and visually impaired children to use together.
“It’s like you’re touching a language, to be honest,” one child who tested the bricks told the BBC. “And it’s just so cool to use.”
“Children are used to playing with Lego bricks and therefore immediately take to the idea and intuitively start testing, playing around, and learning through play – often without realizing they are even learning to read Braille,” Stine Storm, the Braille Bricks project head at the Lego Foundation, told Fast Company.
“As we engaged experts within this field, we realized just how important it is for all kids who are blind or have low vision to learn Braille, even with increased access to technological advancements such as audio voice,” said Storm.
Each set of Braille Bricks will have around 250 bricks in five colors, according to Lego, and come with ideas for teaching and interactive play.
Braille Bricks will also be compatible with other Lego toys, according to Fast Company.
The reaction on social media has been overwhelmingly positive.
“Brilliant,” Twitter user Jon Steiert said. “Not only does this help the visually impaired, it has the chance to teach everyone the Braille alphabet, regardless of age or ability.”
“I once taught myself Braille so I could write ‘I love you’ to my mom on an index card. Now I want a set of these so I can build her an ‘I love you’ out of LEGO,” another Twitter user with the handle @kimfaul wrote.
Braille Bricks are set to launch in 2020, according to Lego. They will be provided for free to selected institutions around the world.
Lego said the bricks are also being tested in several different languages.