It’s a classic game most of us know and love. But for the visually impaired, playing a simple game of Uno can be impossible. Because the rules of gameplay are closely tied to the color and number on each card, those who can’t see the card are forced to miss out on the number one card game in the world.
Wanting to make Uno as accessible as possible, Mattel created a version of UNO for those with color blindness in 2017. And now, they’re launching Uno Braille, the first official Uno card deck that incorporates the raised dots that make up this writing system.
Designed in partnership with the National Federation of the Blind (NFB), the oldest and largest organization of blind people in the United States, the Uno Braille deck features braille on the corner of each playing card that indicates the card’s color, number or action.
NFB was involved in every step of the process, making sure Uno Braille was effectively designed with the needs of the blind/low-vision community in mind. Mattel says some in the blind community have spent hours creating modified, braille-friendly versions of Uno and other popular games by hand, so they’re hoping the new game will help address issues the blind community has been facing.
The game will be available nationwide at Target and will be playable by sighted, blind and low-vision players.
Uno isn’t the only new product featuring braille. For children, Kellogg’s is now offering Rice Krispie Treats with braille “love notes.”
Rice Krispies already offers writeable wrapper but, in an effort to be more inclusive, the brand decided to partner with the NFB and include braille and audio devices with their marshmallowy treats.
For kids and adults, you will also soon be able to buy Legos with braille. The bricks, which will be available sometime next year, feature the studs used for characters in the Braille alphabet, as well as printed characters that allow sighted people to read the bricks. They will be “fully compatible” with existing Lego bricks.
There’s even a new smartwatch that has a braille display. Called The Dot Watch, it has a touch display in which 24 dots rise and fall, spelling out words in braille. The watch can be linked to a smartphone via Bluetooth.
Will you be picking up Uno Braille or any of these other products for a visually-impaired person in your life?