Moon is a system of raised shapes, which can help blind people of any age to read by touch.

The characters are made up of raised lines and curves, similar to the print alphabet, to create a set of basic shapes.

About Moon

Moon is a system of raised shapes, which can help blind people, of any age, to read by touch. It was devised by a blind English man, named Dr William Moon.

The characters are made up of raised lines and curves, similar to the print alphabet, to create a set of basic shapes. These shapes are rotated or reflected to create the 26 letters of the alphabet and additional dots are used for punctuation marks and the numeral sign.

An alternative to Braille

When Dr Moon invented his system in 1845, braille - though invented 16 years before - had not reached the UK from France.

Easier to learn?

As the characters are fairly large and over half the letters bear a strong resemblance to the print equivalent, Moon has been found particularly suitable for those who lose their sight later in life, or for people who may have a less keen sense of touch.

Some children with additional physical and/or learning difficulties can acquire some literacy skills through learning Moon.

Why isn't the print alphabet raised?

People often wonder why the standard print alphabet is not raised for use by touch.

This was tried, however because of the complexity of printed letters, it was found that the raised letters had to be made very large to be felt properly. This meant slow reading speeds and with very bulky books, resulted in frustrated readers.

Other people tried different adaptations of printed letters before Dr Moon devised his system.

Moon materials and products

The Moon alphabet card shows the embossed Moon alphabet and punctuation marks, together with the print translation. You can order a card from our online shop or by calling 0303 123 9999

RNIB and Moon

We believe that there is a need for an alternative simple tactile script for people whose sight is too poor to use a print script, but for whom braille, even uncontracted braille, is not a satisfactory solution.

However RNIB and other blindness agencies world-wide have serious reservations about the viability of Moon as this alternative tactile script. We aspire to conduct research into the viability of alternate tactile scripts, but in recent years our financial position has prevented us from embarking on such a large-scale project.

With our limited resources, we have decided to focus on teaching and promoting braille and other accessible formats. This is in line with other major blindness organisations world-wide. We are not planning to return to active production and promotion of Moon, though we will continue to offer products until stocks run out, loan adult books from our library, and signpost to practitioner experts and other resources.

You can read more about our position on Moon:

RNIB position on moon.doc (Word 177KB)

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