The pilot programme includes four audio and braille building instructions, which are available to use for free.
The pilot programme has been created using AI technology with the aim of encouraging children who are blind or have visual impairments to “enjoy the developmental benefits of creative Lego play experiences”.
The company was inspired to introduce the new free service thanks to the efforts of Matthew Shifrin, a blind entrepreneur who is a long-time fan of the construction toys. Prior to his collaboration with Lego, Matthew would upload building steps for Lego sets onto a system which allowed him to read them with braille, with the help of his friend, Lilya. The entrepreneur launched the website legofortheblind.com, where he and Lilya uploaded text-based instructions that they made for a variety of Lego sets.
Matthew realised there was high demand for his product when he received hundreds of emails requesting that they upload more instructions in order to make Lego more accessible. “The trouble was we had to turn these people down because it was just me and her, a two-person operation,” Shifrin said.
The creative then got in touch with the Lego Foundation to ask whether the company would be interested in creating their own text-based instructions for the masses. The pilot programme launched by Lego includes four audio and braille building instructions, which are available to use for free at legoaudioinstructions.com. The company states that more building instructions are underway and will be added regularly.
“Lego Audio and Braille Building Instructions allow blind and visually impaired children who appreciate hands-on, minds-on activities to experience the joy of building and pride of creation through their hands,” Lego stated. “We believe that the audio instructions may also be beneficial for sighted users contributing with an added value and clarification to the well-known building instructions.”