Braille Bricks: Braille LEGOs!

Featured Image: 
Braille Bricks kit including a container shaped as a big Braille Brick filled with numerous colorful Braille Bricks.

Braille Bricks are a clever combination of the Braille alphabet's six-dot configuration and the classic LEGO block.  Braille Bricks can increase literacy among blind students through play.  Practice braille letters, create words in Braille and build things!  Braille Bricks can be combined with traditional LEGO blocks.  This inclusive educational toy is fun for everyone!

For more information, view These LEGO-Like Bricks Are Actually Braille Letters article.  The video imbedded in this article is not in English but the video is captioned.

Here is another Braille Brick video posted on Facebook that shows Braille Bricks being used by students with visual impairments; the video does not have any spoken words.
 
See the LEGOs in Education post for hints about teaching LEGOs to students with visual impairments and blindness.
 
See Hi-Tech LEGOs post for information about LEGOs combined with curriculums and apps.
 

Update 12/14/16 from Braille Bricks

Unfortunately, they're are not being sold. :( We've made a few pieces to help children from Dorina Nowill Foundation and now, all the box that we done with the pieces, are there for the children, they belong to them. Now we're disseminating the idea to convince any toy manufacturer to produce it in global scale. Help us sharing the project on your social media with the hashtag #BrailleBricksForAll.

Comments

Posted by Linda SparnaaijSep 06, 2016

Hello,

My 6 year old daughter is blind.
She is learning to write and read in braille.
To help here more, we want to buy the braille bricks of lego.
Can we buy them somewhere? How much will it cost?

Thanks a lot!

Greetings,

Linda Sparnaaij

Posted by Diane BraunerSep 06, 2016

So far, the São Paulo based organization has only manufactured enough bricks for 300 students, but through the Creative Commons, they hope more will be made.

The Creative Commons “Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International” license is the second-coolest part of this project. This license makes the design FREE to share (copy and redistribute the material in any medium or format), or adapt (remix, transform, and build upon the material) for any purpose, even commercial, as long as you distribute your contributions under the same license as the original.

You can contact Braille Bricks directly at contato@braillebricks.com.br

 

Posted by BettyOct 23, 2016

Hi, I am a grandmother of a 81/2 year grandson who is blind since birth, I love to know how one can obtain this and its cost. It is not fair that these products pop up and being shown and yet one can not find or obtain one. I am pretty sure, very sure there many families that have seen this item and in the same position as me. This item was shown to me by a teacher and assistant to me and I was overwhelmed that there is such an item out there for the kids to play and learn at the same time. Please do not get me wrong, but it is a fact that there is a problem around the world in creating innovated toys or reinvent tools to help our children. I would appreciate in any way how can we as parents obtain such an item it is totally great. Thank you for taking the time to read my messages.

Posted by Diane BraunerOct 23, 2016

Yes, it is challenging for companies to find the funding to produce items such as Braille Bricks.  Here is a similar product called Tack-tiles that you can purchase.  I am not sure if they sell just the tiles or if they only package the tiles with the Intellikeys package.  http://www.tack-tiles.com/index.htm

Posted by MaureenNov 14, 2016

I wish to purchase these bricks for the Aruba Foundation for the Visually Impaired (FAVI). Could you advise where I can purchase same or are they in the manufacturing process?…..It is a wonderful tool for children with this disability.
Thank you.

Posted by Helen ChavezDec 09, 2016

I am interested on buying these bricks... is there any news since Nov 14th about their availability other that the braillebricks contact?

Best,

Helen

Posted by Diane BraunerDec 13, 2016

I have not heard about any new information concerning the availbility of Braille Bricks.  I have sent an email to the company (12/13/16)  asking for the status.  I will certainly share any new informtion when it is available!

Posted by Diane BraunerDec 14, 2016

- Posted on behalf of Braille Bricks 12/14/16

Hello Diane! Great to hear this from you, thank you for your feedback. 

Unfortunately, they're are not being sold. :( We've made a few pieces to help children from Dorina Nowill Foundation and now, all the box that we done with the pieces, are there for the children, they belong to them. Now we're disseminating the idea to convince any toy manufacturer to produce it in global scale.
Help us sharing the project on your social media with the hashtag #BrailleBricksForAll.

 

Posted by SamanthaJan 18, 2017

I have been working on creating my own Braille Bricks for a few months now. I have been able to make five sets using a 3D printer.

Posted by AndreaSep 13, 2017

Is it expensive to print out the braille brick? I am desperate to find braille lego type bricks. My 8 year son dream of one day "knowing" what he has created by being able to feel and read what he is putting together.

Posted by SamanthaJan 18, 2017

My name is Samantha and I am an Early College student, which means that I attend my regular 4 high school classes as well as attending college classes. Since I have access to the college campus, I took full advantage and began looking for a 3D printable version of Braille Bricks. Once I found a set I asked one of the college technology directors if I could use the colleges 3D printer. He said yes and we programed the printer to print the Braille Bricks. I was so excited to have this opportunity, I left his office with a big smile on my face. Once they were printed I labeled them since I am not fluent in Braille. I am know setting up a presentation for a school in my county to show them my 3D printed Braille Bricks, since they have a student who is blind. These bricks allow students who are blind to have fun with their learning just like any other student.

Posted by AndreaSep 13, 2017

How long did it take you to print the 3D bricks and how expensive would you estimate it to be? I have a blind 8 year old who dreams of having and understand these bricks.

Posted by Diane BraunerSep 14, 2017

Andrea,  

I have not personally used a 3D printer but I have toured 3D printer labs and worked with students who do 3D projects. Here in NC, our universities all have 3D printer labs.  The labs have knowledgable students who work in the lab assisting anyone who needs help. College students have access to these labs and in most cases, can 3D print at no cost.  Some labs do charge.  I'd suggest contacting your local universities and see if they would print it for you - or even better, involve a college student in the project!  Some of our high schools - especially larger high schools - also have 3D printers. There are also Maker Spaces - publicly available 3D printing labs that are open to the public. There are many individuals that love 3D printing who might be interested in helping you. I'd suggest pitching the idea of creating Braille Legos to involved groups and see who is interested.  The Braille Lego files are available are available on thingiverse free of charge (the link is available in one of the comments below).

Posted by Diane BraunerJan 18, 2017

Samantha, what a great project - thanks for telling us about your experience with printing the Braille Bricks.  Can you post the link to the 3D printable version that you used?  Thank you!

Posted by Diane BraunerMar 24, 2017

Thank you for sharing the Braille Bricks files!

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