Mattel releases first deck of Uno cards in Braille

Posted at 6:13 AM, Nov 07, 2019

GOODIN, Idaho — Middle schoolers at the Idaho School for the Deaf and the Blind are getting their hands on the first official braille Uno deck.

"Games don't usually have braille on them unless you put it on, so I think putting braille on things like card games and Legos and stuff — that's a really good thing to do," seventh-grader Kathryn Reese said.

Some of played the game before, but with this deck, they didn't have to hand-braille the cards themselves.

"Uno is one of the best games of all time, and not being able to play, going through childhood or adulthood without playing Uno, it's just not possible, you can't do it," Rees said. "You've got to have Uno in your life."

For others, today was the introduction to the game.

"This was my first time," eighth-grader Durant Whipple said. "It was pretty awesome."

The school has some games provided by the American Printing House for the Blind, but often, they take on the responsibility of adapting popular games.

"There are a lot of games teachers have to hand braille to make it accessible for the students," teacher Mai Nguyen said.

The students are hoping to see Mattel and other companies continue to create braille games.

"Yes, I would want to see War in braille. And poker," Whipple said.

Teachers say this is more than a deck of cards — it can be a springboard to more accessibility and mindfulness from those in the sighted world.

"Even though we as blind and visually impaired people, we might be limited in vision-wise, we would like to be included, we would like to be productive members of society, and we would like to participate fully," Nguyen said.

When it comes to games, being able to participate fully and play with friends around them is half the fun.

"Winning is cool, but it doesn't really matter who wins, because it's a fun game," Rees said.

This story was originally published by Jessica Taylor on KIVI in Boise, Idaho.