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LEGO announces international launch of braille bricks

LEGO announces international launch of braille bricks
28th August 2020 Ian Streets

LEGO has announced the official launch of LEGO Braille Bricks in seven countries, including Brazil, Denmark, France, Germany, Norway, UK and USA.
The company unveiled the idea as a pilot project in April 2019 and after an international testing programme is ready to launch in six languages, including Danish, Norwegian, English, Portuguese, German and French.
It has plans to launch four additional language versions over the next six months, with the aim of reaching a total of eleven languages across twenty countries by early 2021.
Lego has worked to help children with vision impairment develop tactile skills and learn the braille system by producing bricks which are moulded 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.
David Clarke, Director of Services at the BNIB, said: “With these Braille Bricks, the LEGO Foundation has created a totally new and engaging way for children with vision impairment to learn to read and write.
“Braille is an important tool, particularly for young people with vision impairment, and these cleverly designed bricks enable children to learn braille creatively while also engaging with their classmates in a fun and interactive way.”
As LEGO Braille Bricks toolkits launch in each country they will be distributed free of charge to selected institutions, schools and services catering to the education of children with visual impairment.
Each kit will contain more than 300 braille bricks covering the full alphabet in the chosen language, numbers 0-9, and selected mathematical symbols and punctuation marks. It will be available in five LEGO colours and will also include three base plates and a brick separator.
The toolkit is part of an educational concept which is based on learning through play and includes inspiration for brick-based activities to enhance learning and skill-development.
The LEGO Foundation also plans to work with teachers of visually impaired people to continue to develop the LEGO Braille Bricks concept, and is seeking more ideas to continuously expand the pool of activities.
A Facebook group – LEGO Braille Bricks Community – will enable teachers to meet and share best practice, creative ideas and playful experiences and a new website at www.LEGObraillebricks.com will offer inspiration for pre-braille and braille activities to promote learning through play.

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