The LEGO Foundation has been shortlisted for an RNIB See Differently Award in recognition of its work to help children with vision impairment learn braille through play. The RNIB See Differently Awards, alongside headline sponsor Amazon Alexa, recognise and celebrate outstanding work to support people with sight loss.
The LEGO Foundation has been shortlisted in the Design for Everyone category. Sponsored by Kellogg’s, this award recognises an individual or organisation that has understood the everyday challenges faced by blind and partially sighted people and has addressed these by showing their commitment to accessible and inclusive design.
In 2020, the LEGO Foundation launched LEGO Braille Bricks toolkits in the UK and six other countries around the world. RNIB worked with the LEGO Foundation to develop and test the LEGO Braille Bricks which introduced a new way to help children with vision impairment develop tactile skills and learn the braille system through play.
The kits are made up of approximately 300 LEGO bricks that are specially moulded so that the studs on top reflect individual letters and numbers in the braille alphabet. Used in schools and other educational settings, 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.
To support the use of LEGO Braille Bricks, the LEGO Foundation has produced teaching materials and activities which can be used by teachers with no prior knowledge of braille. The activities grow in complexity as a child develops their skills.
LEGO Braille Bricks are the result of many years of partnership between the LEGO Foundation and charities representing blind and partially sighted people.
LEGO Foundation Senior Play and Health Specialist, Stine Storm, says: “We knew we had to co-create. We knew that if we didn’t work with the blind and visually impaired community, we would get it wrong.”
In relation to being shortlisted, Stine adds: “We are proud that LEGO Braille Bricks has been shortlisted for this design award, which is testament to the power of learning through play. We simply hope that more children will engage in the process of learning braille and via this inclusive concept develop essential life skills to help them thrive and achieve their goals in life.”
The RNIB See Differently Awards, which will be hosted by TV personality and entrepreneur Amar Latif, will recognise and celebrate outstanding work to support people with sight loss. They aim to highlight the contributions being made to break down barriers and improve the world for people with sight loss.
RNIB CEO Matt Stringer says: “The RNIB See Differently Awards celebrate people who are dedicated to making the world a better place for blind and partially sighted people. Our shortlisted National Finalists are all brilliant and we wish them the best of luck.”
The awards will recognise exceptional individuals and teams across seven categories: Campaigner of the Year, Community Contributor of the Year, Best Social Media Impact of the Year, Team of the Year, Employer of the Year and Volunteer of the Year and the Design for Everyone Award.
The award winners will be announced at a ceremony which will take place at 8 Northumberland Avenue on 29 March 2022.