Learning through play is an important tenet in education. This methodology combines fun, hands-on, and multisensory ways to engage kids in the learning process and get them working together. “Braille Bricks” are a wonderful and tactile creation for helping children with blindness and visual impairments integrate more easily in the classroom’s social setting, but they also serve an equally essential purpose: these bricks actually boost literacy. Basically every kid we know has gone through a bricks and blocks phase (with some of those phases turning into lifelong building and engineering interests), and these value-added Braille Bricks create an easy entry point for children who are blind to interact and play with their peers while they conquer the basics of “writing” and reading.
Braille Bricks look super similar to LEGO bricks with one important difference: the raised bumps on the Braille Bricks indicate one of the 26 letters of the alphabet. Children who are blind can use the bricks to form words, sentences, and learn their letters in a playful, yet effective way and to teach their friends about the braille alphabet. Children who are blind can face multiple challenges in the classroom, including difficulty with literacy and a lack of inclusion from other students due to their visual impairment. Braille Bricks function as a way for them to participate in the process of learning how to read and to become an active part of play at the same time. For teachers who have not had much experience with braille or students with visual impairments, Braille Bricks are a hands-on way for them to build their basic braille skills as well, and to encourage the children to interact together.
Braille Bricks look like they could actually function with other LEGO blocks to extend the already-endless building possibilities: just be sure to keep them separate for when it’s actual reading and writing time! Currently helping more than 300 children, Braille Bricks were created in conjunction with the Dorina Nowill Foundation for the Blind, a Brazilian non-profit with a mission of promoting inclusion through services and products that make the world better for everyone. In an effort to gain support and expand the availability of Braille Bricks, the Foundation is encouraging people to use the hashtag #BrailleBricksForAll. Scroll down on the site to create a message using the Braille Bricks and to get an idea of how they work.
via My Modern Met