Adapted Board Games for the Visually Impaired

Nearly every organ in your body serves a crucial function. Some are essential to your survival, while others make daily living easier. The eye is a remarkable organ that significantly improves our standard of living. The human eye, like a camera, uses a lens to form an image of its environment. Thanks to this, you may see the sights and experience life to the fullest.

However, the World Health Organization (WHO) reported that over 2.2 billion individuals worldwide had some visual impairment, either near or farsightedness. Most people will have vision loss at some point in their life. The silver lining is that these issues are typically treatable with simple measures like corrective lenses or more extreme measures like surgery. But there are types of blindness that are irreparable and may be caused by an injury, disease, or genetics.

On the brighter side, cutting-edge inventions are introduced, and with them, new ways to improve the lives of the visually impaired. Many educational and recreational board games are available for persons with disabilities to help them learn, pass the time, and participate in constructive pursuits. Here are some adapted and accessible board games for the visually impaired community.

Monopoly with a Braille-Sculpted Layer

Monopoly is undeniably one of the most well-known board games, with several distinct variations catering to diverse demographics. It’s a classic board game where you travel across the board, buying and selling properties to construct buildings like hotels and homes according to the numbers you roll on two six-sided dice. Players must collect rent from their opponents for each round to bankrupt them.

A unique layer is sculpted into the square monopoly board, making it easier to see where each space and asset is located. The cards themselves are enormous and have both braille and big print versions.

The braille and low vision monopoly set is a beautiful gift for the blind or visually challenged, including braille dice, cards, money, and a braille game board.

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Tactile Tic-Tac-Toe

The classic two-player game is tic-tac-toe (also known as noughts and crosses). Each player takes turns placing three of their marks in a row, either vertically, horizontally, or diagonally, across the board’s 3×3 grid. Observation, strategy, and tactics are all skills that will be tested in this game.

A unique set of tic-tac-toe boards has been made for those who are blind or have some other form of visual impairment. The board has nine holes for piece attachment, with each row having three. The lines separating the squares are also embedded on the board for easy navigation. There are five yellow, circular playing pieces and five red, cross-shaped ones. The pieces have pointed projections that can be easily attached to the holes in the board.

For the blind or visually impaired, this might be a great way to boost a few of their cognitive abilities.

Tactile Checkers

The board game checkers has several different iterations from different cultures. In a game of checkers, your goal is to remove all of your opponent’s pieces from the board or stop them from making a move. To win, you must make diagonal moves with your pieces, remove all of the opponent’s pieces from the board, and make sure that your own pieces never leave the dark boxes.

This modified game of checkers was created for the needs of the visually impaired. It will aid visually impaired people in various ways by fostering abilities like fine motor control, form recognition, orientation in space, sensitivity to touch, and so on.

This version of tactile checkers features elevated white squares that allow the checker pieces to fit within each black square for easy board navigation. To provide texture and contrast to the set, each neon green piece is a spherical token, and each neon pink piece is a spool. If a piece is kinged, a bright peg of neon yellow or orange is placed on its highest point for easy identification of kinged pieces.

Tactile and Braille-Labeled Scrabble

Two to four players can compete in the word game Scrabble, played on a board and with tiles. Words that players create and place on the board earn points for everyone. For this game, the scores for individual letters and completed words are added together.

Tactile and braille labels are included on the letter tiles. However, the board also has tactile and braille labeling and an overlay grid to keep the tiles from moving. One hundred letter tiles, four tile racks, and a revolving game board make up this set. Most adapted scrabble game boards may be rotated to provide easy access for players sitting in any of the four corners.

Tactile Chess

All the squares and the pieces in a game of tactile chess set are intended to be clearly distinguishable by touch. Each chess piece has a unique identifying mark on its tip and a projection at its base that snaps into a tiny hole in each chessboard square.

Numerous blind and visually impaired individuals have demonstrated the chess game to be more of a mental than a visual challenge.

Braille Sudoku

As a game of numeric strategy, Sudoku was first presented in 1986 and later popularized by a Japanese firm in 2005. It consists of a 9×9 grid with nine subgrids of 3×3. The goal of solving a printed Sudoku problem (with some of the squares filled in and some left blank) is to ensure that each column, row, and 3×3 box has the numbers 1 through 9 exactly once. Additionally, there can be no repeating digits in any of the nine 3×3 boxes.

Playing Sudoku is an excellent approach to honing your problem-solving, tactile discernment, and independence. Braille Sudoku allows vision-challenged people to enjoy the game. Pieces of various hues are displayed on a pegboard, making this game easily accessible. A puzzle book and key are included, so you may create countless variations. So that the Braille-embedded numerals may be read in a straight line, the pegs designed include an elevated line at the top and a depression at the bottom.

Playing board and card games is an excellent way for people with impaired vision to develop their balance, motor skills, eye-hand coordination, and attention to stationary and moving things. All people, regardless of age, benefit from playing board games because it activates regions of the brain that are in charge of storing memories and processing complicated ideas. Decision-making, higher-level strategic thinking, and problem-solving are all vital cognitive abilities that may be honed through playing board games. The benefits that board games can provide should not be exclusive alone for people with good vision. More board games that welcome and are accessible to individuals with disabilities are needed.