World Vision Day: How Lego is Using Special Bricks to Teach Braille to the Visually Impaired
Image for representation. Credit: Canva
October 8 is observed globally as World Vision Day or World Sight Day. The day is dedicated to drawing attention toward visual impairments and blindness. It is estimated that nearly 1.4 million children across the world are non-sighted.
When it comes to toys like Legos, where kids have to build something, children with a disability seem to have little use for them. But Lego corporation wants their toys to bring joy to all children. The company announced a new line of Legos in the United Kingdom (in August) which will not only be used by kids to play but will also be a learning experience. The new Legos are designed to teach braille to children with visual impairment.
The new Lego bricks are moulded in a way that the studs on the top could form individual numbers and letters in the braille alphabet.
The Danish toymaking company collaborated with multiple charities to develop this new model. Two of these are the Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB) and Leonard Cheshire. The prototype has already gone through a few rounds of tests in schools for children with visual impairment.
The toy kit will include nearly 300 bricks. It is aimed at helping users (kids or adult) develop skills like tactile movements and learning the braille language system. The toy, apart from fun and teaching, is also intended to bridge a gap between children with or without visual impairments. The Lego bricks have letters, numbers, symbols printed on their surface which children with sight can enjoy and share with their non-sighted friends; allowing them to play together.
The RNIB even trained some of the teachers and support staff to enable them to help the children use these specialised Lego bricks. They revealed that despite being primarily aimed for children of age four and up, the toy is popular among secondary school level children as well, as reported on iLinesUK.
According to Guardian, the company noticed due to audiobooks and computer apps, braille is not being taught as much. However, braille is still used by many people across the globe.
Lego Foundation is built on the earnings on Lego Group. The foundation is aimed at helping disadvantaged children.