The Danish construction toy company released its Lego Braille Bricks range this year, changing the life of a grandmother who has been blind since birth.
Lego began in 1932, and since then has inspired creativity in people from all walks of life.
The company this year released the Lego Braille Bricks range, forever altering the experience of Lego for blind and visually impaired people.
One such person is a blind grandmother from Ireland. She revealed that the Lego Braille Bricks range has helped her enjoy playing with her grandchildren while teaching them Braille at the same time.
Braille – how it works
Named after its creator, Louis Braille, Braille is a tactile writing system primarily used by those who are visually impaired.
Braille became blind after an accident as a child. He developed the eponymous writing system at 15 years old as an improvement on night writing – a previously used system of reading for the visually impaired.
It comprises a system of six dots arranged in a three-by-two matrix – the Braille cell. There are 64 possible combinations of dots, including no dots to indicate a space. Dots can represent letters, numbers, and punctuation.
Lego Braille Bricks – making Braille more accessible
Lego launched its Braille Bricks range in 2020. The range was originally only available in certain schools and other institutions for blind and visually impaired children.
They came on the market for general sale this year. Lead designer, Rasmus Løgstrup, revealed that Lego had been “inundated with thousands of requests to make [the bricks] more widely available”.
Each block’s studs corresponds with a Braille character. Each block also shows the letter in print form so that those who are not visually impaired can also learn the Braille system.
Moreover, the blocks of the Lego Braille Bricks set are completely compatible with every Lego system.
Jackie Brown – an Irish grandmother benefitting from Lego Braille Bricks
Jackie Brown, a 61-year-old grandmother from County Derry, Ireland, was born blind but has been fascinated by Lego since the age of seven.
“Back then, I was able to feel my way around my Lego board, and through conversation with others, I was able to build my own models,” Jackie told BBC News.
Jackie describes the development of Lego Braille Blocks as a “fantastic” evolution that has allowed her to enjoy playing with her grandchildren.
“I’ve never really grown up properly, and now that I have my grandchildren, I can continue with them while teaching them what Braille is. I feel proud that we’re able to do that now,” she explained. “It’s like therapy and a form of escapism for me”.
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