Braille and Moon: tactile codes

Braille and Moon are tactile codes which enable blind and partially sighted people to read by touch


Braille is a great way for blind people to read and write.

Braille is just the alphabet and numbers, designed to be read by fingers rather than eyes.

Braille is for anyone who has or is likely to lose their sight and would find that using large print becomes difficult.

Braille can be learnt and used by children or adults to read and write pretty much anything! Braille is a code based on six dots, arranged in two columns of three dots. There are 63 possible combinations of the six dots.

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If you are blind or partially sighted, or you support someone who is, we have lots of information about braille:


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

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.

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Here are some useful resources for learning Moon: