The William Moon Story
Dr. William Moon was known for having created his own system for teaching the blind to read.
He was born in Horsmonden on December 18, 1818. Initially, he was just as healthy as anyone else. However, he eventually contracted scarlet fever, which rendered him blind in one eye and left the other with very faulty vision. He was left under the care of his grandparents after this (for reasons unknown), but his parents still played a large role in his upbringing.
He attended a school for sighted children, and always maintained that blind students should be allowed to learn alongside students with normal eyesight — a mindset that was more in line with modern perceptions of the blind and could have been seen as somewhat unusual at the time.
After he left school, he moved back in with his now-widowed mother, aiming to train for the non-conformist ministry. However, his goals were snatched away from him when he was completely blinded by the age of 21.
When people hear about writing for the blind, the most common thing that pops into their head is braille, which was developed by (and named after) Louis Braille, a blind man who was inspired to create his own writing system after learning about the night writing technique employed by soldiers.
However, Braille's system isn't the only one that continues to see modern use. Sure enough, it is a very efficient system for those who have been blind for most of their lives. However, some assert that it isn't quite as useful for people who lost their vision later on in life.
You can learn to Protect Your Eyesight but sometimes things happen that are out of your control. These people would have already learned the normal alphabet and would possibly have trouble adjusting to the system of raised dot patterns used in braille.
The William Moon technique was similar to Braille's, but it used characters that were more similar to the Latin alphabet instead of a symbolic arrangement of dots. In this way, the system could be considered more like the one used when Braille was being put through school; blind students were given three thick textbooks containing raised letters formed by a series of copper wires pressed against each page.
Each book was also full of material, making them very heavy. Braille's system was created specifically because this one was inefficient and cheap. Of course, being more similar to the standard alphabet is more or less where the similarity to the method that William Moon invented ends. Like Braille, Moon's system utilizes embossed paper rather than pieces of metal in order to raise the letters for use by the blind.
His method would lack the drawback of being too heavy for practicality. However, it still fell into obscurity, in part because it takes much longer to print out text using Moon's technique, resulting in fewer publications.
Still, many people today still use Moon's system. It's generally much easier to master than the more complicated nature of braille.
However, some people start with the William Moon system and then move onto braille once they feel they've gotten the hang of it.
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