The LEGO Foundation has created a teaching concept for the Lego Braille Bricks set, to teach visually impaired children pre-Braille, Braille and a breadth of holistic skills, alongside a huge volume of resources and learning activities that educational practitioners can simply pick up and use. In true partnership with our friends at Implement Consulting Group, we created an intuitive online hub to surface the materials best suited for each child and their specific context.
The LEGO Foundation’s philosophy is based on “Learning through Play”, which champions experiences that are joyful, meaningful, actively engaging, iterative and socially interactive. These five characteristics articulate how children learn best, and they underpin every initiative the LEGO Foundation undertakes.
While all websites are now designed to meet some accessibility standards, we embraced the challenge to attain a much higher level than usual: WCAG 2.1 guidelines, AA level. Working alongside Braille experts, we created designs we could take to the Royal National Institute for the Blind in the UK, and iterate based on their meticulous feedback – ultimately meeting their approval.
The teaching materials and activities were created by Braille experts at the LEGO Foundation and are tailored to each of the five characteristics for Learning through Play and to two levels: pre-Braille and Braille. We designed a sorting function and a simple, easy to understand illustration model that made the hub appealing to education practitioners – while also enabling them to quickly identify the best solution for each child’s age, ability level and context.
"Every project has design constraints of some sort, but the level of regulation and testing here was a huge challenge. To be able to launch a website that meets those demands and doesn’t compromise on design is something quite special. We’re excited to roll it out and see it working in practice."
"Ultimately, we wanted to create a hub that would save practitioners time, prevent them from experiencing frustrations and give them what they needed to do their best work. This was an example of user-centric design at its best."
The success of this inspirational project relied heavily on rigour in design. It wasn’t enough simply to build a website. It was our duty and our pleasure to apply critical thinking and creativity to challenges relating to accessibility and practitioners’ needs. Ultimately, the LEGO Foundation intends to make LEGO Braille Bricks and the hub accessible and useful in multiple countries over time, so we expect and hope to see the hub and the community it serves grow and thrive in the coming years.