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This father has invented a game to teach his daughter Braille


Jake Lacourse of Massachusetts, United States, is the man behind BecDot, a game that is designed to help his to-year-old daughter, Rebecca, learn pre-braille concepts.

Rebecca has Usher syndrome, a rare genetic disorder that can cause deafness and progressive blindness. Lacourse, who is a product engineer, worked at home developing the game.

The playing surface is made with a 3-D printer and is the size of a tablet. Four large braille cells run across its front. When a toy, like a cow or a pig, each embedded with an electronic tag, is placed onto the tablet, the corresponding braille dots for a cow or pig pop up.

The aim is to help young children learn early braille concepts, and get them ready for adapting to a world that’s built for people who can see. Lacourse wants to market the toy and sell it for about $100.

Experts say that BecDot is commendable and could help other children but that it may not teach kids the fine tactile skills they’ll need to learn braille.

Usher syndrome affects just about 20,000 people in the United States and 400,000 around the world. But the signs get identified at a much later stage.

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