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AFBAmerican Foundation®
for the Blind

Expanding possibilities for people with vision loss

Building with Legos when you are blind?

I am part of a middle school team in FIRST Lego League, and we are researching how we can improve the way a blind person learns to build a Lego structure. If you have a vision impairment and have ever built a Lego, we would love to hear about your experience. You can reach the team at tjdemaro22@aol.com. Thank you for your time and help. Sincerely, Tim DeMaro


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Re: Building with Legos when you are blind?



Very neat!

Thanks for sharing, Mat.


Re: Building with Legos when you are blind?



BrainCraft (a psychology/neurology Youtube channel) just did a video on how blind people can build Lego sets independently using a system that my sighted friend and I invented. You can watch it at: http://www.youtu.be/hVy5E2DZkKM All of the text-based instructions that we've created so far are now available from legofortheblind.com for free.


Re: Building with Legos when you are blind?



Hi Jeffrey, My article on Lego access for the blind is being published in Future Reflections soon. I will post a link to it here, as soon as the article is published. I am working on a website which will host various text-based lego instructions. It will hopefully be live later this summer.


Re: Building with Legos when you are blind?



Anyone know of a good resource for finding text building instructions for Lego Technic models? In particular, models from the Bionicle reboot?


Re: Building with Legos when you are blind?



Hi Tim, I was very interested to read about your project. My 8 year old is interested in learning more about building with Lego but gets frustrated at having other people direct him . I think he would love to have a set of Braille instructions, and I'd be happy to pre-sort the pieces. Lease let me know how your project is progressing, and if there is any way we can get a copy of your text instructions I would be really grateful. There is a Lego club here and the manager would be interested in offering something to support inclusive Play between VI children. We are in Melbourne australia . Thanks, Terri


Bricks for the Blind--audio building instructions for Lego model



Dear Liz, You are correct--we are focused on a set to build a specific structure. For our project, we came up with a product that we call “Bricks for the Blind”. It provides instructions for the visually impaired to build a Lego model. We demonstrated Bricks for the Blind at Helen Keller Services for the Blind in Hempstead, New York, and it was a big success.

I have described below how Bricks for the Blind would work. We would like to hear your comments.

We purchase a Lego model. To start our project, we purchased Lego Creator model 31013, a 3-in-1 airplane, helicopter and twin-hulled racing boat model.

We convert the visual instruction booklets for the Lego model into written text. We record the text onto a CD, so that a blind person can listen to audio building instructions on his or her computer or CD player.

We also provide a copy of the written instructions so that a blind person can scan it into their computer to be converted into braille or to be read aloud on their own voice-over system.

We include the original instruction booklet.

To make it easier for a blind person to find the correct Legos pieces, we pre-sort the pieces into separate bags by each page of the booklet. Each bag has a raised number on it to show what page of the booklet it corresponds to. If a bag would have identical pieces with different colors, we separate those pieces into different bags by color. By connecting each bag to a page number, a sighted person can check the model against instruction booklet, if a builder needs help.

We describe standard LEGO pieces very specifically by size, shape and number of pegs. If a piece is not standard, we describe it by size and shape.

We provide a tray to hold the Legos so they don’t spill and get lost. Then the builder is ready to build.

Thank you for your time and help.

Best regards,
Tim


Re: Building with Legos when you are blind?



Hi, Tim. That's an interesting question. Legos are an awesome tactile toy, but I imagine you and your team are focused on the many available sets that lead you to build a specific structure? I know that I've had trouble interpreting Lego instructions sometimes because they are so completely visual -- no words provided, just pictures! But I'd be interested to hear from other people.


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