Aug 25, 2023
Lego launching Braille bricks following 'global demand'
Beginning Friday, Lego is launching its Braille bricks in English and French for the general public, a move meant to make the toys more widely available to families. The popular toymaker partnered
Beginning Friday, Lego is launching its Braille bricks in English and French for the general public, a move meant to make the toys more widely available to families.
The popular toymaker partnered with the nonprofit American Printing House for the Blind to begin testing the Braille bricks at select schools back in 2019 and introduced free educational kits featuring the Braille bricks for organizations serving kids with visual impairment the following year. According to a Lego press release, there has since been "overwhelming" global demand for the sets.
Lego said its Braille bricks are meant to be inclusive, encourage play and the learning of Braille, and that the toys are suitable for children who are at least 6 years of age. The Braille bricks -- which come in five colors: blue, green, red, yellow and white -- feature both Braille and printed letters and symbols. Each of the Braille bricks have studs that match Braille letters and numbers, and Lego said the bricks can be used alongside its other Lego brick products.
Martine Abel-Williamson, the president of the World Blind Union, an organization representing approximately 253 million blind and partially sighted people around the world, praised the wider release of Lego's Braille bricks.
"For the blind community, braille is not just literacy, it's our entry to independence and inclusion into this world, and to have LEGO Braille Bricks made available for the wider public is a massive step forward to ensuring more children will want to learn braille in the first place," Abel-Williamson said in a statement. "Because it's based on a product that so many families already know and love, this is really an invitation for all family members to have fun building tactile skills and getting familiar with braille using the same tool."
Lego's Braille bricks will come in a 287-brick set with two gray baseplates and boxes that feature embossing in Braille. They will be sold on Lego's website for $89.99 each. The company also plans to launch versions of its Braille bricks in German, Italian and Spanish early next year.