Samiksha Jaiswal (Editor)

Moon type

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Type  Alphabet
Time period  1845 to present
Direction  Mixed
Creator  William Moon
Parent systems  Latin alphabet Moon
Moon type
Languages  English, French, German, Dutch, Danish, Russian, Arabic, Armenian, Greek, Hindustani, Mandarin

The Moon System of Embossed Reading (commonly known as the Moon writing, Moon alphabet, Moon script, Moon type, or Moon code) is a writing system for the blind, using embossed symbols mostly derived from the Latin script (but simplified). It is claimed by its supporters to be easier to understand than Braille, though it is mainly used by people who have lost their sight as adults, and thus already have knowledge of the shapes of letters.



Moon type was developed by Dr. William Moon (1818—1894), a blind Englishman living in Brighton, East Sussex. After a bout of scarlet fever, Moon lost his sight at age 21 and became a teacher of blind children. He discovered that his pupils had great difficulty learning to read the existing styles of embossed reading codes, and devised his own system that would be "open and clear to the touch."

Moon first formulated his ideas in 1843 and published the scheme in 1845. Moon is not as well known as Braille, but it is a valuable alternative touch reading scheme for the blind or partially sighted people of any age.

Rather than the dots of braille type, Moon type is made up of raised curves, angles, and lines. As the characters are quite 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. It has also proved successful as a mode of literacy for children with additional physical and/or learning difficulties.

Moon books for fluent readers can be borrowed from the RNIB National Library Service and books for children from Clearvision Project.

Foreign languages

English Christian missionaries in Ningbo, China, during the Qing dynasty used Moon type to teach blind locals how to read Ningbo. Missionaries who spoke the Ningbo dialect ran the "Home for Indigent Old People" where most of the inmates were blind. In 1874, an English missionary taught a young blind man to read romanised Ningbo written in Moon type. The Gospel of Luke was then transcribed into two large volumes of Moon type. A Swiss missionary placed notices on placards throughout Ningbo stating that he would give food and money to the blind people who visited. He used a point system. The Gospel of Mark was transcribed into Moon type using romanized Mandarin, however, without the tone marks. Missionary Hudson Taylor, who had been involved with the transcription of the gospels, did not find tone marks necessary. However, the romanised Ningpo vernacular has never used tone marks. However, aspirated consonants were distinguished. Since, when singing hymns, tones are important. They were able to read the romanised books due to a good understanding of Ningbo. Similarly, tone marks were not used in the tangible point system used at Hankou.


Moon type Wikipedia

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