LEGO Braille Bricks – Inclusive Play & Learning
Lego introduced Braille Bricks, which are meant to assist visually impaired children learn to read and write in Braille while having fun.
The colourful LEGO bricks are instantly recognizable. Children construct unique, dynamic structures out of interlocking shapes, whether they follow a predetermined pattern or not.
Research shows that children acquire knowledge through play. Combining play with education sparks imagination and interest.
However, LEGO recognized that not all customers were served by existing products. Children who had trouble seeing could not participate in block play because of the visual nature of the activity.
LEGO set out to discover a way to make playing accessible to more people by forming a partnership with specialists in the field of visual impairment and relying on the resources of the company’s educational foundation.
The outcome is a 2019 release of LEGO Braille Bricks. Each block is printed in Braille so that kids who are blind or visually challenged may play along.
The “studs” on each Braille Brick are a perfect match for the raised dots on Braille alphabet letters and numerals. Each set includes more than 300 Lego pieces, enough to represent the selected language’s alphabet, numerals 0 through 9, and a small assortment of mathematical symbols and punctuation marks. These blocks have printed letter and number identification, making them accessible to visually impaired youngsters. The new Braille blocks are compatible with all other Lego blocks.
Play as a Means of Education
The LEGO Foundation is LEGO’s philanthropic arm. Children develop strength and a sense of direction through play. They practice methods of thinking, producing, collaborating, and assessing concepts rather than memorising information and statistics. All the tools they’ll need to succeed in all aspects of life.
The play has been linked to improved memory, creativity, and mental flexibility in children. Therefore, while children are having fun, they are also developing important skills for a healthy adulthood.
Every kid deserves the ability to learn through playing.
In this way, the building blocks of a happy, healthy, and productive life are cultivated in infancy and carried through to maturity via the medium of play.
The educational and inclusive results of LEGO Braille Bricks make this childhood classic available to a population that has historically been excluded.
Young children can learn Braille by adapting LEGO bricks with Braille symbols. When this is the educational goal, using LEGO as the platform makes learning a lot more enjoyable and interesting.
LEGO developed and showcased a product that has real-world value for children by collaborating with RNIB (The Royal National Institute for Blind People), consulting with educators, and making use of the power of savvy digital marketing to give children the means to communicate and learn through play.
Learning Using LEGO
Research had shown that there would be high demand for products like these. The product was in high demand, and feedback from throughout the world highlighted the need for a multilingual, international strategy that would not only engage blind youngsters but also help them acquire Braille codes in their native tongues.
To iron out any kinks in the product development process, LEGO realised it had to test the waters with a smaller audience first. They did this by conducting preliminary tests in certain markets.
At the same time, LEGO understood they couldn’t expect their target market to automatically grasp the importance and use of the company’s new Braille Bricks upon release.
In addition to producing short, interesting instructional films, LEGO developed a MOOC (massive open online course) that shed light on the importance of inclusive education and its practical implementation in schools.
The LEGO Agency, LEGO’s in-house creative arm, and BETC Paris, a French creative agency, collaborated on the Rebuild the World campaign, which features the brand-new Braille Bricks.
Through this campaign, LEGO was able to establish itself as an industry leader in the realm of educational play and a catalyst for positive social change.
After a successful beta test, Braille Bricks was available in twenty countries and many languages by 2020.
The effectiveness of this campaign depends heavily on the timing of product development and promotion.
Learnings For Other Companies
As a well-established company, LEGO was able to combine its substantial resources, using both internal creative innovation and research-led insights. The company was also amenable to feedback and teamwork, showing that it could adapt to new circumstances and new demands.
Look for strategies to remain flexible as you expand; this is true for established and up-and-coming firms.
The success demonstrates that companies need not fear making their goods and services more accessible and that doing so need not alienate their current customer base.
Instead, accessibility can be a path to higher levels of customer satisfaction, a way to alter how people view your brand and a game-changer for expanding your product’s reach to marginalized groups.