Many forms of wearable tech aid blind and visually impaired people, often with dramatic impact on their lives. In the past, we’ve written about augmented reality glasses that helps the blind navigate, a video racing game interface for blind players, a headset that helps legally blind people to see, and more. Since 2014 we’ve published more than 70 posts on wearable technology to assist or replace human vision.

The LEGO Foundation and LEGO Group announced LEGO Braille Blocks: customized blocks developed to help blind and visually impaired children learn Braille. Inspired by proposals from Associations for the Blind from Denmark, Brazil, and the U.K., LEGO is currently testing the concept with prototype Braille Blocks in each country. LEGO Braille Blocks are functionally compatible with the LEGO System in Play. Each block has studs identical to those used for letters and numbers in the Braille alphabet plus the corresponding printed character. The prototype kit has suggestions for games with blind and sighted students, teachers, and family members to promote engagement and inclusion while building and learning with the blocks.

Audiobooks and computer text-reading software are driving forces behind the LEGO Braille Blocks program because these new technologies have resulted in fewer children learning Braille. Testing will continue through the end of Q3 2019. LEGO plans to distribute the final version LEGO Braille Blocks Kit in 2020. The kits will have 250 bricks plus suggestions for teaching and interactive games using the blocks. The kits will be given free to participating partner networks in the countries where the testing is taking place and will expand from there. LEGO Braille Blocks may not have sensors, self-harvesting energy sources, or cloud connections, but they have significant potential benefit for blind and visually impaired children.