Braille Dominoes

Braille Dominoe Set

Acquired by the Museum in 1972 from the then American Foundation for the Blind, this is a standard North American dominoes set designed to be used by people with visual limitations. Like a North American "standard" set of dominoes, this set includes 28 tiles with the usual distribution. What makes this set unique is the way they are physically constructed.

Each tile is made of a hard plastic and is 5cm long x 2.5cm wide x .8cm thick. The top of each tile is divided in half by a slightly raised bar. On either side of the raised bar on each tile (except the blank), there are a series of raised pips representing a number, (e.g. 5 pips = 5). It is the raised pips which make this set unique.

In standard dominoes sets, pips are indented and not raised. Furthermore, in standard sets pips are in a color which contrasts with the body of the tile. Since the manufacturer assumed that sets such as these would only be used by people with visual limitations, it was reasoned that there was no need to color the pips. This reasoning does make it somewhat problematic for both players with and without visual limitations to use these tiles to play in the same game. In fact, the manufacturer indicated that these were "Braille" dominoes, intended for people who are severely visually limited, and are able to read Braille.

Last update February 6, 2010