This cute teddy bear has a slightly different tummy than standard plush toy. Wandering through the world of toys he somewhere found six dots and made them his friends. He put them on his tummy to keep them always with him anywhere they would go. And together they are comming to visit children, who are reading the world with their hands.
Where was Braillík born?
Braillík like to belong to any country, where he can find young braillists to play with. He though originates from Slovakia. His creator, Martin Dvorecký, launched a fundraising campaign to collect enough money from good people to bring his idea to life. Having a blind son himself he understood the need of such a plush friend well.
Martin says: “Braillík became my idea when I saw our Branko playing with sound alphabets… Such kind when the child presses the letter and the toy says “C – Car”. The sound feedback entertained him and would even teach him the letters, but such a toy didn’t bring much to him as a blind person except fun… I knew that one day he would have to learn Braille and he could learn it by playing the kind of game he likes.”
Description of Braillík
It is a plush teddy bear very soft to touch, aproximatelly 15 cm tall. On his tummy and chest Martin placed a plastic pannel with six buttons. These buttons represent the braille dots, arranged in the standard six-dots braille cell. If the dots are all pressed in, they are levelled with the pannel surface. To write a letter “a”, first dot has to be pressed. Once it is pressed, it protrudes above the pannel surface and the child can actually feel it as a raised dot.
Training with Braillík is easy. Teddy bear tells us a letter following by word starting with that letter and waits for the correct answer. Answer has to be punched in with correct braille dots. If Braillík asks for “C – car”, the child has to press dot 1 and dot 4 to raise them above the surface of the pannel. After pressing correct answer, Braillík cheers and appraise the answer. If the answer is not correct, Braillík gives another chance, until the answer is correct. With every other chance the time for punching the correct answer is prolongating.
The potential of this training tool is huge. It represents a lovely toy for children to play with, sleep with, keep as dear to them. Yet, it can still be a training tool with various sets of tasks and tests, funny voices, reactions to the braille answers and much more. Martin is working volountary on its enhancements. For now, Braillík speaks Slovak and some basic english. Martin is though very opened for any further wanderings of Braillík to other countries, schools or other institutions, who would be interested and perhaps help Braillík to learn their language. 😁