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Mattel debuts first official Braille deck of UNO cards

Inside look at Legos' new "Braille Bricks"

The beloved card game UNO has been bringing people together for years, but now even more players can join in on the fun. Toy manufacturer Mattel released the first official Braille deck of UNO cards Tuesday.

UNO Braille was developed in partnership with the National Federation of the Blind (NFB) to make the card game more accessible to blind and low-vision players, according to its description on Target's website. The cards are exclusively available through Target.

UNO tweeted about the cards with an inspiring video featuring individuals who are blind and low-vision enjoying the new version of the game. 

"It's a sighted world, so it's important to have accessibility for the blind," said Raveena Alli, a child featured in the clip. "But also to be able to pull out a deck of cards and say, 'Hey, there's Braille and print on this, do you wanna play?' And it will just be really fun."

Emily Gibbs, a teacher of students who are blind in Texas, also explained the impact of the new version of UNO on her kids. "Just being able to go to a store and pick it up and be able to play it right off the shelf, that's an experience that people haven't been able to have," Gibbs said.

Braille is on the corner of each card in the 112-card deck, to identify the card's color and number action, according to a Mattel press release. It is written on the packaging as well. 

Players can access downloadable instructions to play the game on UNOBraille.com, featuring .BRF (Braille readable files), or utilize voice-enabled instructions through Amazon Alexa and Google Home, according to the release.

"With the launch of UNO Braille, we're making a real impact on a community that has been underserved by providing a game that both blind and sighted people can play together," said Ray Adler, Global Head of Games at Mattel in a press release.

While the deck is live on Target's site, there is only an option to "preorder" the cards to be shipped "on or shortly after" October 6. 

This isn't UNO's first attempt at making its game more accessible to all — it also released a version of the cards that are "optimized for the color blind" in 2017. Other toy makers are also attempting to adapt. Lego created special bricks to teach Braille this year. The studs on those Lego bricks are specially rearranged to represent letters, numbers and symbols — the building blocks of language.

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