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Why the LEGO® Braille Bricks public launch highlights the power and importance of braille

LEGO® Braille Bricks, which help children with vision impairment to learn numbers and the alphabet, have just been launched to the public for the first time reminding us all of the continued relevancy and power of braille.

Dave Williams, RNIB’s Inclusive Design Ambassador, says it is a timely reminder as we prepare to celebrate the 200 year anniversary of braille next year.

Braille has a role to play in an increasingly digital society, Dave, who works to create an accessible experience for blind and partially sighted people, believes.

“Regardless of being blind or partially sighted, we all benefit from tactile experiences, and feel a bit more certainty when a button has a little nub, when you turn a key in the lock and feel it click, when you can feel the warmth from your coffee cup. It's a core part of the human experience. It's the first sense we have when we develop, and probably the last sense we experience, so braille is just an optimisation of that," he explains.

Dave helped found The Braillists Foundation, a charity he is now chair of, which has been awarded by the Prime Minister for tackling loneliness and supporting people who want to learn braille independently.

Why braille is important

Dave adds: "My goal is to capture people's imagination in terms of the value of braille. There are a lot of people who think braille is outdated, too complicated, too much hard work.

“But the reality is that the unemployment rate amongst blind and partially sighted people is at 75 per cent, and - for those who are in work- many of them would cite braille as being key to their success.

“We had a blind home secretary who could not have done his job without braille. There are blind teachers, lawyers, accountants, who rely on braille to do their jobs. Stevie Wonder presented a Grammy to Ed Sheeran using braille.

“Braille is still highly relevant, and there’s lots of it in the world if you know where to look."

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