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Blind father learns braille to read bedtime stories to his kids

In a world where audiobooks are increasingly popular, one blind father is learning braille so that he can read bedtime stories to his kids in his own tone and voice.

Amit Patel is using LEGO braille bricks with his two children, which have studs that match the braille alphabet and are printed with the relevant letter or symbol.

Patel says that there are big advantages to learning Braille, even in the era of audiobooks.

"Everybody was telling me that technology is there. You've got audiobooks, you've got audio CDs, all of these things," he said.

"I don't want to put headphones in when I'm on a train because for me, I'm listening out for announcements, I'm listening out for other dangers around me, I've got Kika, my guide dog with me, so I kind of need to listen out for things."

The LEGO braille bricks have been free to specialist educators and schools since 2020, but from September 2023, they will go on sale to the general public.

Learning braille can lead to better job opportunities

Studies have shown that learning braille leads to better speaking, reading, and writing, as well as better job opportunities.

One example is 16-year-old Sacha, who developed his own braille system after losing sight due to a brain tumor.

Sacha says that braille has been crucial for him to stay independent.

"I could leave a short message to my mother at the entrance and tell her that I went to see a friend, for example," he said. "I found that it's really important to be able to share this with my family and discover the system together."

LEGO braille kit comes with 287 bricks and online lessons

The LEGO braille kit comes with 287 bricks and links to an online platform with lessons and play sessions in both braille and pre-braille.

Tactile skills learned before braille can be beneficial, and studies have shown that learning braille leads to better speaking, reading, and writing, as well as better job opportunities.

The bricks will first be made available in English and French, with Spanish, German, and Italian versions launching in 2024.

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