LEGO is bringing its range of LEGO Braille Bricks to the UK in a bid to aid children with vision impairment across the country benefit from inclusive construction toy play with the brand. The range is the result of a collaboration between LEGO and the Royal National Institute of Blind People.
The LEGO Group detailed the global introduction of the range earlier this year, starting with the US market and lining up plans for the European and global markets shortly after. The new kits are being brought to the UK by RNIB, who worked with the LEGO Foundation to develop and test the Braille Bricks.
The toolkits will be distributed to schools and home-schooled children from this month.
The kits are made up of approximately 300 LEGO bricks that are specially molded so that the studs on top reflect individual letters and numbers in the Braille alphabet. The bricks also feature printed letters, numbers and symbols so that they can be used simultaneously by sighted peers, classmates, and teachers in a collaborative and inclusive way.
RNIB director of services, David Clarke, said: “We are excited to bring the LEGO Braille Brick tool kits 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 tool kits will make a real difference to children with vision impairment, allowing them to play and interact with their sighted classmates.”
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 and health specialist at the LEGO Foundation, Stine Storm, added: “We are thrilled to launch the first wave of the LEGO Braille Bricks program and get the tool kits 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.”
The UK is one of several countries that LEGO Braille Bricks will launch in this year. The tool kits, or sets of bricks, are not on general sale and can only be ordered by heads of service from local sensory services. 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.