There are products available to produce Moon, including labelling sheets and hand frames.
An easy way to produce notes and simple text in Moon is to use pre-embossed Moon labelling sheets; available with the letters of the alphabet and punctuation signs and the StaffsMaths Moon number sheets. Simply cut out the characters required.
The Moon hand frame is a low-tech method for producing short notes and making labels. Special writing material (plastic embossing film) sits inside a hinged plastic frame. Using an inkless pen or braille style, a Moon character can be written in each space on the grid of squares. By pressing quite hard, the plastic embossing film puckers so that the character can be easily felt when the material is taken out of the frame. Many Moon readers get quite proficient at using this method of writing.
Special heat-sensitive paper (swell paper) can be used to produce raised Moon characters when it is passed through a heat fuser. The first step is to create a document on a computer and then convert the text into Moon on screen using the Moon font. This document can be printed out on standard copy paper and then a low temperature photocopier is used to transfer the design on to swell paper. The swell paper is passed through a heat fuser, so that the black areas absorb heat causing the image to rise up and become tactile.
A pen is also available for drawing Moon characters directly onto swell paper. The swell paper is then passed through the heat-fuser as described above. The Zy Marker pen is available from Zychem Limited, contact them on telephone 01606 738739 or by email [email protected]
It is possible to produce Moon-like characters from electronic text files on some braille embossers (printers) linked to a computer; this is generally known as Dotty (or Dotted) Moon. Evaluation of this type of Moon with children and adults (both learners and fluent readers) suggests that most people find it as easy to read as traditional linear Moon. While the initial outlay of embossing equipment is considerable, running costs are relatively cheap and production is straightforward.
For advice about buying translation software and embossers suitable for producing Moon please visit the Moon literacy website.
Visit UK Association of Accessible Formats (UKAAF) for details of organisations that can transcribe materials.
he Routes to Literacy through Moon (DVD/Video) has been produced by the Visual Impairment Centre for Teaching and Research (VICTAR) at the University of Birmingham. For further information, please contact them on telephone 0121 414 6733 or by emailing [email protected]