If you’ve ever been on vacation at the beach on a rainy day, you probably have ransacked the game stash and decided to play Uno. But if you are blind or have low vision, playing card games like Uno isn’t really an option.
That’s all about to change, though, and soon.
Mattel has teamed up with the National Federation of the Blind to make Uno Braille, the first official Uno card deck featuring braille, making the game accessible to the more than 7 million people with blindness and low vision living in the United States. Uno Braille features braille on the corner of each playing card to indicate the card’s color and number or action. Play instructions featuring .BRF (braille readable files) are available for download while voice-enabled instructions are available on Amazon Alexa and Google Home, meaning you will finally know if your little brother is cheating. (He probably is.)
“Braille is a critical tool for literacy and facilitates full participation of the blind in all aspects of society. By introducing the new iteration of Uno, the brand is putting braille in places where people don’t usually experience it, like in the game aisle at Target,” Mark Riccobono, president of the National Federation of the Blind, tells Fast Company in an email. “This normalizes braille and helps society understand the many ways it is used.”
He adds that the federation “hopes that more companies will choose to actively engage the National Federation of the Blind, as Mattel has, in order to find win-win opportunities to enhance the inclusiveness of their product offerings and improve the product experience for everyone.”
“Uno is doing more than making this beloved game more accessible,” Ray Adler, Mattel’s global head of games, says in an email. “It’s also helping promote the importance and normalcy of braille by putting it in the games aisle.”
This isn’t the first time Uno has re-imagined its classic game to be more inclusive. In 2017, it introduced Uno ColorADD, making the game playable for those with color blindness (like my little brother).
If you know someone who may appreciate this game or just want to make your Airbnb is more inclusive for whomever rents your vacation house, Uno Braille is available through Target retailers nationwide and on Target.com for $9.99.