Lego unveiled a new project today that will help blind and visually impaired children learn Braille — Lego bricks with the same number of studs as Braille letters, numbers or math symbols.  

The 250-brick set is currently being tested in in Danish, Norwegian, English and Portuguese, while German, Spanish and French will be tested later this year. The final Lego Braille Bricks kit is expected to launch next year. 

The Danish Association of the Blind and the Brazilian-based Dorina Nowill Foundation for the Blind pitched the concept to Lego in 2011 and 2017, respectively. Lego has since worked with other blind associations in Denmark, Brazil, U.K. and Norway as well to develop the set. 

“With thousands of audiobooks and computer programs now available, fewer kids are learning to read Braille,” Philippe Chazal, Treasurer of the European Blind Union, said in a statement. “This is particularly critical when we know that Braille users often are more independent, have a higher level of education and better employment opportunities. We strongly believe 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.”

A 2009 study by the National Federation of the Blind found that fewer than 10% of legally blind people in the U.S. are able to read Braille, while only 10% of children are learning it. 

Lego Group Senior Art Director Morten Bonde worked as an internal consultant on the project. Bonde suffers from a genetic eye disorder that will eventually lead to blindness.  

“Experiencing reactions from both students and teachers to Lego Braille Bricks has been hugely inspirational and reminded me that the only limitations I will meet in life are those I create in my mind," Bonde said in a statement. "The children’s level of engagement and their interest in being independent and included on equal terms in society is so evident. I am moved to see the impact this product has on developing blind and visually impaired children’s academic confidence and curiosity already in its infant days."

The bricks, which will be compatible with other Lego bricks, will also included printed numbers and letter so that sighted children, teachers and parents can also learn Braille while working and playing with visually impaired or blind children.

“Blind and visually impaired children have dreams and aspirations for their future just as sighted children,” John Goodwin, CEO of the Lego Foundation, said in a statement. “With this project, we are bringing a playful and inclusive approach to learning Braille to children. I hope children, parents, caregivers, teachers and practitioners worldwide will be as excited as we are, and we can’t wait to see the positive impact.”

We’re super excited to introduce LEGO Braille Bricks – a new product from @TheLegoFoundation that will help blind and visually impaired children learn Braille in a playful and inclusive way!

— LEGO (@LEGO_Group)April 24, 2019