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LEGO-Like ‘Braille Bricks’ Help Blind Children Connect with Peers

It seems that a new, reliable trend line is developing in society — something akin to Moore’s Law — which states that just about anything in the universe gets better when you add Lego. Everything from Batman movies to DIY machines to Star Wars is elevated to a new plateau of creativity when Lego enters the picture, and the latest arena the beloved building bricks (or at least bricks closely modeled on archetypal Lego) have entered is education for blind children.

“Braille Bricks,” which was recently reported on by AdWeek, is a combined effort by the nonprofit Dorina Nowill Foundation (which is “dedicated to the social inclusion of people with visual impairments…”), and a marketing agency, Lew’Lara\TBWA, to help blind children in Brazil better integrate into their classrooms and play with their peers. Instead of traditional Braille writing–which, for children like Anny in the above video, require a cumbersome typewriter to produce–Braille Bricks utilize a series of colorful and fun Lego-like bricks to spell out letters of the alphabet and snap together words.

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“In some schools, they have those Braille typewriters, and when you type, it punches the paper,” Arthur Sacek, a “Lego Design Specialist” says (via translation) in the video, “[but] with Lego, if you make a mistake, just take a brick out and place another one in.” And even though the video is a marketing pitch for the Braille Bricks, using them clearly helps blind children to better connect with their classmates; they turn what was an abstract and colorless form of writing into a tactile language that’s playful, vibrant, and inspiring.

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If you want to support the proliferation of Braille Bricks (they’re currently available to about 300 children), you can use the hashtag #BrailleBricksForAll on various social media platforms to help encourage toy makers to mass produce them. And if you do, you’ll probably be on the right side of history, as you’ll be obeying that apparently intrinsic Lego-makes-everything-better law of the universe.

What do you think about these Braille Bricks? Snap your thoughts into place in the comments below!

Images: Braille Bricks

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