In Brief

The Read Read exposes students to braille with a tactile board and audio pronunciation so they can learn on their own

Researchers at the Harvard Innovation Lab have created a learning tool that helps people with visual impairments learn quickly by themselves. Called the Read Read, this tool looks similar to a large board game, with blocks containing a letter and its associated braille dots underneath. The Read Read was created after much research on best practices and teaching methods when it comes to learning braille.

All learners have to do is touch the tiles to hear feedback, letting them learn and associate sounds with braille dots. Users can assemble the tiles together to spell out any words thanks to a magnetic and conductive grid. Since it activates multiple senses at once, the tool helps learners pick up on words and letters quickly. The simple interface makes it easy for students to learn on their own, with the audio and lettered tiles guiding the interactions.

Designer Alex Tavares, a master’s student at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, said in a press release, “I found that toys and apps available were ineffective. The interfaces were too complex, and didn’t provide the salience required to teach the correspondence between letters and their sounds.”

The tool has been tested by educators worldwide. Tavares was able to execute a successful 12-week pilot at the Perkins School for the Blind, where the Read Read was used by students who are blind, visually impaired or on the Autism spectrum. Students were able to use the Read Read to practice phonics, spelling or learn braille.

Read Read

Researchers at the Harvard Innovation Lab have created a learning tool that helps people with visual impairments learn quickly by themselves. Called the Read Read, this tool looks similar to a large board game, with blocks containing a letter and its associated braille dots underneath. The Read Read was created after much research on best practices and teaching methods when it comes to learning braille.

All learners have to do is touch the tiles to hear feedback, letting them learn and associate sounds with braille dots. Users can assemble the tiles together to spell out any words thanks to a magnetic and conductive grid. Since it activates multiple senses at once, the tool helps learners pick up on words and letters quickly. The simple interface makes it easy for students to learn on their own, with the audio and lettered tiles guiding the interactions.