This Agency’s Brilliant ‘Braille Bricks’ Help Blind Children Learn to Read Through Play

Fun, educational work from TBWA

Imagine if Lego-style blocks were turned into a Braille alphabet that could help visually impaired children learn to read. For a group of kids in Brazil, such toys are a reality. The two-minute video below promotes "Braille Bricks," a new project from the nonprofit Dorina Nowill Foundation for the Blind and agency Lew'Lara\TBWA. 

First, the clip tells the story of Anny, a young girl with the eye condition nystagmus, as her mother recounts a teacher's inability to help her with a Braille typewriter.

It positions the educational blocks as an antidote to that sort of problem—they become a form of play that can also include sighted children, thereby better integrating those with visual impairments, and expanding their support networks. 

The bricks prove to be a clever combination of the Braille alphabet's six-dot configuration, and a classic children's toy—so much so, it's hard to believe nobody's done it before. 

A limited run of the toys is currently available to about 300 children, but Dorina Nowill's marketing team released the designs under a Creative Commons license, hoping manufacturers would pick them up and bring them to a wider audience. 

To that end, the group also created a website inviting viewers to create their own Braille messages in the style of the blocks, and is trying to drum up consumer support with the hashtag #BrailleBricksforAll. 

Setting aside the obvious human benefits, it also seems like a good publicity opportunity for Lego, which is historically deft at that sort of thing—and has recently created more inclusive toys, albeit in a slightly different fashion. More pics below. 


Agency: Lew'Lara\TBWA

Client:  Dorina Nowill Foundation for The Blind

Product: Braille Bricks Project

Title: Braille Bricks

CCO: Felipe Luchi e Manir Fadel

CEO: Márcio Oliveira

Creatives: Leandro Pinheiro e Ulisses Razaboni

Online Creatives: Leandro Pinheiro, Ulisses Razaboni, Felipe Pimentel e Cainã Meneses

Account Team: Ricardo Barros e Fernanda Mariano

Planning Team: Renata d'Avila e Anderson Sales

Media Team: Luiz Ritton, Eduardo Shinohara, Suellen Kiss, Amanda Moura e Danielle Farhat

Social Media: Nancy Sestini

Art buyer: Ale Sarilho, Sabino, Caio Lobo e Natasha Latronico

Piece Producer: Claudio Rocha

Photographer: Rodrigo Ribeiro

Project Manager: Monalisa Paduin

Agency TV Producer Luzia Oliveira, Marcella Pappiani e Angela Felicio

Agency Production: Marcos Pedra e Alexandro Coelho

Film Production Company: Landia

Film Director: Nixon Freire

Executive Producer: Carolina Dantas e Sebastian Hall

Producer Director: Fabiano Ramos

Director Of Photograpy: Nixon Freire

Art Director: Dartagnan Zavalla

Editor Diego Merulla

Finisher: Henrique Gomes

Post-Production: Rafael Fernandes

Sound Production: MugShot

Digital Production: BASE

Client: Eliana Cunha, Daniela Coutelle, Priscila Saraiva

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@GabrielBeltrone Gabriel Beltrone is a frequent contributor to Adweek.