When you wake up, do you immediately look at your phone?
It’s almost reflexive for millions of people around the world at this point to check Facebook likes, work emails, and Twitter mentions before the day even begins, but imagine waking up and not being able to see that phone of yours. Imagine waking up and not being able to see anything at all.
That’s the sad reality for 1.4 million children across the globe who will only know blindness for the rest of their lives. More upsetting still is the fact that very few schools properly accommodate students with visual impairments, much less help them integrate into social circles and make lasting friendships at a pivotal point in their intellectual and social development.
Although there are tools like Braille keyboards available, if teachers and administrators don’t know how to use them, they don’t do students any good.
While brainstorming ideas for new takes on these tools, volunteers from the Dorina Nowill Foundation for the Blind knew that they’d have to get creative. In an effort to help blind children achieve literacy and integrate into classroom settings, they created Braille Bricks.
Drawing from the LEGO design we all know and love, they modified its form to give it a whole new function. After kids feel things out and read the instructions on the box, they’re able to dive in and use little blocks to spell.
Using a base board and Braille Bricks, they can write out their thoughts without the level of commitment that comes along with using a Braille typewriter. If they mess up, all they have to do is replace the block and keep it moving!
The tactile experience of spelling with the different blocks helps students communicate quickly and effortlessly, and the inherent fun that comes along with the process helps children connect through the art of play, just like other kids.
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Because public schools around the world are forced to work with tight budgets, accommodating special needs students often becomes a challenge.
The creators behind Braille Bricks hope that their affordable design will bring joy and a deep love of learning to inquisitive children who take in the world around them in a totally unique way.
To learn more about Braille Bricks, be sure to check out their website!