Startup Europe Awards

BRAILLE RIDDLES, winner of SEUA Croatia in Social Category

Country: Croatia

Category: Social

Name: Braille Riddles

Project Aim: design and create a series of accessible learning tools and educational toys for the blind   and visually impaired.


What is Braille Riddles?

Braille Riddles is a student project whose goal is to design and create a series of accessible learning tools and educational toys for the blind and visually impaired, and cooperate with NGOs to further the education of blind and visually impaired children.

How does the project start?

The project was started by a group of medical students seeking to find ways to help and improve everyday life for the blind and visually impaired. Having learned the appalling statistics regarding the worldwide employment rate for people with visual impairments, as well as the percentage of Braille-literate persons, we came up with the idea to apply CAD and 3D printing technologies to the creation of affordable learning tools and toys. Our intention is for these tools to widen educational possibilities for the blind, and make relevant resources more easily available to organisations and private users.

How are your products?

The innovative products we have developed so far consist of a series of puzzles of varying complexity, meant to be used as an interactive tool for learning letters of the Braille alphabet and recognising everyday objects. The puzzles are designed in series, adapted to and suited for children of varying age groups. For children up to the age of 7, the puzzles are designed to help learn the letters of the Braille alphabet, and recognise and name simple objects. For ages 7 to 12, the puzzles are more complex and adapted to the educational programme. For ages 12 and above, the puzzles begin to introduce elements of logical and mathematical deduction.

Did you test your products?

In cooperation with several educational centres for blind and visually impaired children in Croatia, our prototypes have been examined by teachers and educational specialists, and tested under their supervision by focus groups of young protégés and learners. Their feedback has been extremely positive, as well as the children’s reaction and interest in the new toys, and we are continuously communicating with the centres while developing and adapting new products and designs.

Future perspective?

Initially, we aim to produce a starting amount of puzzle sets that would be distributed to educational centres throughout Croatia and the rest of Europe. Our long-term goal is to gather feedback and insight from these centres to perfect our line of designs, and create an affordable marketable product, complete with efficient and reusable packaging, that could be distributed to educational centres and private users worldwide. It is our hope that the event in Bruxelles will help us spread word of our project, which will, in turn, help bring our educational goal to life.

“As a CEO of Braille Riddles I’m very proud on my team and our project. This award shows that we did a good job, but it also tells us that our work is being recognized and that we need to work more to make this project real and make our vision come true.“