Some of these products can be demonstrated at RNIB Resource Centres. NB: Prices may have changed, and those given, are for guidance only.
There are two main ways of producing Moon which requires specialist equipment: linear Moon and dotty Moon. However, the simplest way of producing Moon is with a hand-frame.
Take your time to fully inform yourself about this tactile reading system and explore it in full capacity. Learn all the variants the system has, all the levels of learning, understanding, and reading you can accomplish. Moon is a system that is made out of shapes rather than dots like Braille. That is why it is better for those who are not that tactile sensitive, for those who previously learn the alphabet and for those who have other disabilities, or who are just frustrated at the pace it takes them to learn Braille. It is important for a person to have choices and that is what Moon is giving them.
The Moon hand-frame is a simple and low-cost frame of A5 size for writing Moon. It consists of a grid fixed to a rubber base. Plastic film or self-adhesive labeling material is inserted between the grid and the base. When a Moon letter is firmly written with a biro in one of the squares, the plastic film is marked. The Moon characters can be easily distinguished by touch when the film is removed from the frame.
When using the Moon hand-frame for making self-adhesive labels, the plastic labeling material must be placed face down in the frame (adhesive side up); the characters are written in reverse, working from right to left so that they appear on the right side of the material. Considerable pressure is needed to ensure the Moon characters are embossed so that they can be felt easily when the material is removed from the frame. However, it is not always easy to use a hand-frame and the end result will vary from user to user.
This method involves the use of special paper (swell paper) which produces raised images when passed through a heat diffuser. The first step is to create a Word document on a computer using the Moon font (see Downloadable Moon Font). This document is then printed out and photocopied onto the special swell paper. The copy is then passed through a heat fuser. The black lines on the paper absorb heat which causes the image to rise up. A pen is also available for drawing Moon letters directly onto the swell paper, either freehand or by using a Moon stencil. The sheet is then heated as described above.
The following companies sell swell paper and fusers:
Zychem Ltd: www.zychem-ltd.co.uk. Zychem also supply the pen mentioned above.
An alternative is to produce Moon using a computer, software, and embosser. There are now several workable combinations of software packages and embossers. To produce dotty Moon a text document is created in Word. This is then converted into Moon using specialist software. The file is then sent to the embosser to produce Moon.
- Duxbury Braille Translation Software, price approx £385.00, can translate into dotty Moon and is available from Techno-Vision Systems Ltd. This software is compatible with the following Enabling Technologies embossers:
Braille Express 150, Desktop double-sided embosser, price approx £9796.00
Juliet Pro – with speech, double-sided braille embosser with single-sheet and wide carriage options, price approx £2544.00
Romeo Pro50 – single-sided braille embosser, price approx £1813.00
- Braille Maker Professional, price approx £395.00, also does dotty Moon and is compatible with the following Index embossers:
Index Basic S, with speech, single sided, fan fed paper, price approx £1545.00
Index Basic D, with speech, double-sided, fan fed paper price approx £1945.00
Index Everest, with speech, double/single sided, single sheet, price approx £2495.00
There is also a range of Tiger Embossers which produce Dotty Moon, including the Tiger Pro which is approx £6,995.00. Desktop embossers include the Tiger Max at £4,495.00 and the Tiger Cub which is £2,895.00. These embossers do not require separate software; they translate directly from Microsoft Word. The embossers are available in the UK from Force Ten www.forcetenco.co.uk. Other suppliers include ViewPlus Technology: www.viewplus.com; firstname.lastname@example.org
DeafBlind UK: Zychem fuser for linear Moon;
- Linden Lodge: Duxbury + Juliet Pro embosser for Dotty Moon; Zychem fuser and swell paper for linear Moon;
- HMP Guys Marsh: Zychem fuser for linear Moon;
- HMP Maghaberry: Braille Maker Professional + Index Basic D embosser for Dotty Moon;
- Pia: Braille Maker + Index embosser for Dotty Moon; Zychem fuser for linear Moon.