Moon is an alternative to Braille. While Braille is a system of dots that helps those with impaired sight to read, Moon is made in shapes and is much softer and easier to recognize. It is a language that is read by touch and is quite easy one to learn. A lot of school teachers, volunteers and others who work with people with impaired sight learned it quite easily.
Characters in this written language are quite large and they do bear resemblance to the letters, meaning that people who lost their sight during their life, or those who have the sight which worsened over time but they still learned letters before the impairment of the sight, can more easy find their way around Moon written language than around Braille.
How is it different?
Braille is the completely specific written language that is completely made of the dots, meaning that unique position of several dots forms one letter or one word. In Moon, the shapes resemble the letters meaning the characters are more easily recognizable and easier to learn. They are also more easily read trough fingers no matter how small or big characters or your fingers are, meaning that the shapes are more easily understood by people who are not that sensitive to the touch, unlike Braille.
This means that people with other physical or learning difficulties who also have impaired sight can more easily learn Moon than Braille. Parents and friends of the children and people with impaired sight can also more easily learn Moon than Braille because, as we mentioned, it resembles the printed written alphabet. That also means that people who had difficulties with Braille now have the alternative and will with more confidence and more ease master the Moon sign alphabet. It can also lead them to develop a skill set that will help them, master Braille, more easily too.
How do the Moon works?
We said that Braille is a written sign language that is made of dots that form various patterns. Well, Moon uses curves and lines which form nine shapes that are the base. Reflecting or rotating those shapes creates different shapes – twenty-six alphabet letters. Moon Grade 1 also have numerical signs and dots that are punctuation marks. This provides a complete tactile version regarding any written text. If there is a need for increasing the speed of reading, there are some additional shorthands and signs that you can learn, like the letters that can represent whole words. This system that is more complex is called Moon Grade 2.
Why just not use the alphabet?
Well, this was tried in the early years, but it didn’t work out. The letters are quite complex so in order for them to be recognized they have to be bigger and that is just not practical. Also, people did complain that the reading time was quite long and that the letters were never quite felt and understood properly. Readers were also quite frustrated by bulky books they needed to use, for the alphabet to be just a little functional.