What a brilliant idea to adapt the existing texture of LEGO bricks to turn them into versatile educational tools for students who are blind or visually impaired.
The bricks themselves are very much like the originals, specifically the common 2×4 blocks, except they don’t have the full eight “studs” (so that’s what they’re called). Instead, they have the letters of the Braille alphabet, which happens to fit comfortably in a 2×3 array of studs, with room left on the bottom to put a visual indicator of the letter or symbol for sighted people.
All told, the set, which will be provided for free to institutions serving vision-impaired students, will include about 250 pieces: A-Z (with regional variants), the numerals 0-9, basic operators like + and
=, and some “inspiration for teaching and interactive games.” Perhaps some specialty pieces for word games and math toys, that sort of thing. LEGO was already one of the toys that can be enjoyed equally by sighted and vision-impaired children, but this adds a new layer, or I suppose just re-engineers an existing and proven one, to extend and specialize the decades-old toy for a group that already seems already to have taken to it."
I absolutely love this idea. If you've seen the Toys that Made Us episode on LEGO, you know what a wonderful, versatile and educational thing LEGOs have always been!
And they targeted both boys and girls back in the day with creativity and versatility, which was also ahead of its time.