When parents Beth and Jake Lacourse learned that their daughter Becca was diagnosed with Usher Syndrome in 2016, a common cause of blindness and deafness, they were determined to overcome any obstacles that could impede her success.  As they searched the market for toys to assist their daughter and and continue to learn about her condition, they discovered a lot of problems with current braille readers. For one thing, these devices were often too expensive for parents. Second, by the time Becca would start learning braille at school, they feared it would be too late in her education to really help her get ahead of the curve.

Tech dad Jake, having an engineering and product development background, decided to take matter into his own hands. He developed his own toy to fit not just his daughters needs, but other children with similar conditions. Behold, the BecDot!

The BecDot is a fun interactive teaching toy for the blind and visually impaired to aid in developing literacy skills through play, according to its website. It’s low-cost design makes it more accessible to children with visual impairments, while providing a fun educational play experience with lights and sounds, just as a toy for sighted children would.

It works by using NFC technology to read certain items. Then, the corresponding word will pop up in braille on a parent’s smartphone. Luckily it reads small toys (no extra devices need to be purchased, as kids can use their own toys). Parents can take their smartphone and plug in an NFC tag and apply that tag to a toy their child already has.

Click here to read more about the BecDot or watch the video below.

H/t Tech Crunch

About the author

Kelly Corbett

Kelly Corbett

Kelly is an editorial assistant at Adventure Publishing Group. When she's not writing/playing/thinking about toys, she's probably spilling coffee on herself, laughing at her own jokes, or doing something awkward somewhere. As a quirky redhead, she one time tricked her friends into thinking she was the new face of Wendy's fast-food franchise as a prank. She's not, but a chili lover can dream right? You can follow her on Twitter @kcorbzz.