Braille and Moon
Providing Braille and Moon formats will make your communications more accessible to people with visual impairments.
Braille is a system of raised dots that people read with their fingers.
- Braille is the preferred reading medium of approximately 18,000 blind and partially sighted adults in the UK (source: RNIB 2009).
- Many more people use Braille for labelling objects around their home and workplace.
- It is accessible to over 20 per cent of working age people who are registered blind.
- Around four per cent of the blind and partially sighted population of five to sixteen year olds in Britain are braille users – this is around 850 children (source: RNIB 2009).
Braille readers are often influential and active members of the blind community and may pass information on to other blind people.
Braille should be provided to those who request it. However, it is important to make an assessment, based on the target audience for a product and how much active marketing is planned, about the likelihood of it being requested since it is expensive to produce.
Grade 2 Braille, where common words and letter sequences are abbreviated, is the form used by experienced readers. Follow Braille conventions on headings, contents lists, indents and page numbering. Get expert advice on converting tables and diagrams.
For small-scale items, like letters, it is possible to use automatic translation.
It can be useful to spot check the quality of a braille translation by paying a braille proofreader. Contact the Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB) for details.
Moon is a system of reading and writing which uses tactile symbols based on lines and curves to represent letters, numbers and punctuation marks.
It is easier to learn than Braille, as the letters are easier to distinguish by touch. However, Moon cannot be written by hand, is even bulkier than Braille and currently there is very little literature available in Moon.
Moon is used by a very small number of people, most of whom are elderly.
As it is unlikely that you will receive requests for Moon you do not need to produce materials in Moon as a matter of course. If you receive a request for Moon, ask whether another format, such as audiotape, would be a useable alternative. If Moon is required, Contact the Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB) for guidance.
Beyond the Office for Disability Issues
Page last reviewed: 01 March 2009