Matthew Shifrin’s goal is to make LEGO toys more accessible for the visually impaired. This desire arose from his own experience as a blind LEGO devotee.
Shifrin could not read the LEGO instructions, but his, “friend, Lilya…would write down all the building steps,” for him. Then Shifrin could “upload them into a system that allowed,” him to follow the steps using a braille reader.
Shifrin knew that most blind children would not have access to LEGO instructions, so he set out to change that. Shifrin presented his idea for the company to provide instructions for the blind population to LEGO.
LEGO responded positively to Shifrin’s suggestion. After teaming up with Shifrin, the company started offering audio and braille instructions.
Audio instructions for four different kits can be accessed on the LEGO Audio Instructions site. The company expects to include more kits in 2020.
The company has also been working with several blind associations to develop and release Braille Bricks.
Philippe Chazal, the Treasurer of the European Blind Union, believes that “LEGO Braille Bricks can help boost the level of interest in learning Braille, so we’re thrilled that the LEGO Foundation is making it possible to further this concept and bring it to children around the world.”
Because of Shifrin’s desire to help others and the company’s willingness to make their products more accessible, it is becoming easier for blind children and adults to play with LEGO bricks. Now anyone can join in the fun!