OVER the past 30 years, the proportion of blind children who have additional disabilities has been rising. Learning braille is often beyond them, but another reading system, Moon, may offer a suitable alternative.

Moon was created in 1847 by a British inventor, William Moon, who was himself blind. It is a system of embossed signs, using 14 basic characters that can be arranged to mimic letters of the alphabet. Although cumbersome, it is simple to learn and has been widely accepted by the elderly.

Steve McCall and Juliet Stone, lecturers in visual impairment at Birmingham University's School of Education, are carrying out a two-year research project to consider whether Moon will help blind children with learning difficulties and report that so far teachers, pupils and parents have been enthusiastic.