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APH News: August 2002

Your monthly link to the latest products and services information.

134th Annual Meeting "Sharing the Memory, Shaping the Dream"

Annual Meeting Logo

Annual Meeting packets are in the mail. The registration form and tentative agenda are also available on the APH web site, www.aph.org. Please make your plans to join us October 10-13, 2002, at the historic Brown Hotel in Louisville, Kentucky. If you would like a packet, please call or email aparis@aph.org.

Order Your APH Products and Textbooks for Fall Now!

To avoid delays and backorder situations, please place your orders now.

Alert to Ex Officio Trustees - You have only until September 30 to spend your remaining Federal Quota funds.

NEW PRODUCT! Loving Me Now Available!

Cover picture from "Loving Me"

Loving Me: A Guide to Creating and Presenting Workshops on Self-Esteem

"Billy Brookshire's Loving Me is a welcome addition to our professional literature." Dr. Dean Tuttle

Loving Me was written by Billy T. Brookshire and published by the American Printing House for the Blind (APH). It is designed for those who seek to help people who are blind and visually impaired, their families, and the professionals who work with them to explore the origin and expression of their self-esteem in a workshop format.

Loving Me is available in large print and on CD-ROM - packaged together. These editions make the information in Loving Me accessible to everyone. The two-binder set contains 120 activities from which to build self-esteem workshops. Children, transition-age youths, and adults can all benefit from the good balance between the theoretical and practical aspects of self-esteem in this book.

Loving Me: 7-02500-00 Print/CD-ROM Edition -- $96.00

Large Print Atlas Progress

Four participants from the original Large Print Atlas focus group returned to APH for ArcView training recently. ArcView is special software that allows the user to identify and manipulate features of maps. This software lends itself very well for purposes of enlarging legends, type, lines and boundaries, and for high-contrast coloration. This, in turn produces a very clean and legible map for large print users. Trainees will function in the future as consultants for the Large Print Atlas Project, and as resource persons to make maps for APH on other projects which require adherence to the Large Print Map Guidelines.

APH's Gary Mudd and Nancy Lacewell are working with National Geographic to obtain digital maps and text for inclusion in the APH Large Print Atlas.

Termite Torpedo

red termite

Fire up your computers and get all the bugs out! The newest, and perhaps only, computer game especially designed to develop visual skills in students with low vision will be released soon.

Termite Torpedo is an action/strategy game in which players drop torpedoes on annoying termites and turn them into helpless blobs. Audio cues make Termite Torpedo completely accessible and playable by students with blindness too. Get familiar with your keyboard's arrow buttons and shift key. You'll need it when you try to save Woodville from the termite invasion!

Web Site Improvement Ongoing

We are systematically checking the APH web site for navigation improvements. As always, our goal with the site is to make it easy to use for both sighted and visually impaired users. The current round of improvements will be subtle - you may not notice any big differences, but they will be there!

We welcome your comments about our site, www.aph.org. Please feel free to email us at webmaster@aph.org with your thoughts.

New ATIC Staff

Dena GarrettDena Garrett

The Accessible Textbook Initiative and Collaboration (ATIC) has added a third Accessible Media Editor. Dena Garrett, a long time APH employee, joined the ATIC staff July 22, 2002. Dena came to work in APH's Stereograph Department 30 years ago. Changing with the times, she put down her hammer in Stereograph and began computer brailling. She is now proficient at editing and transcribing both textbooks and tests.

Dena's responsibilities will include editing textbooks prior to translation, quality checking incoming translations, working with transcribers across the country to answer questions and give guidance, and joining with other ATIC staff members in creating necessary training materials to share with transcribers.

Dena attended Berea College in Berea, Kentucky and currently resides in Louisville.


Yan ZhangYan Zhang

ATIC's Tactile Graphics Developer and Trainer position has been filled by Yan Zhang, a graduate of Purdue University, Eastern Illinois University, and the Beijing Institute of Chemical Technology. Yan joined us July 29, 2002. Yan has worked for TAEVIS for the past two years designing tactile graphics for blind and visually impaired Purdue students.

Yan's primary responsibility will be to conduct research identifying and determining tactile elements that effectively communicate information using new production methods for tactile graphics in textbooks. He will also design a training plan for graphic artists that will be offered to transcribers in the field during the next year.

APH Travel

In July, Advisory Services exhibited products at both the American Council of the Blind (ACB) Conference in Houston, TX and the National Federation of the Blind (NFB) Conference in Louisville, KY. Product sales at these two events were brisk. Many NFB conventioneers toured APH during their stay in Louisville. APH also exhibited products at the AER International Conference in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, July 17-20. Additionally, APH personnel provided five presentations and four poster sessions during the conference.

2002 Federal Quota Census

Mid-August will herald the return of many of our students to school and the mailing of the Duplication/Correction Reports for the Federal Quota Census. Ex Officio Trustees should be on the lookout for this important report in mid to late August.

Student Registration System (SRS) Software Training

We need your input! APH would like to offer fall training on the Federal Quota Census and SRS Software - geared to those actually entering the data. We have considered dates immediately following the Annual Meeting in October or dates in early November for the two-day training with hands-on computer time for 40 participants. Are Trustees interested in attending, or allowing staff to attend, such an event? Please contact Karen Blaker at kblaker@aph.org or 800/223-1839, ext. 300.

A Legend in Our Field Retires

As our Trustees are aware, the legendary Ralph Brewer, APH Ex Officio Trustee and Superintendent of the Tennessee School for the Blind, recently retired. Jim Oldham will become the new Ex Officio Trustee. We thank Ralph for his hard work as a Trustee, including his counsel as a member of APH advisory committees, and welcome Jim to this important position.

Video to Premiere at Annual Meeting

All eyes will be on the big screen at Annual Meeting in October as APH premieres a new low vision video. Production of this video started in the spring of 2002, with taping completed at the end of July. Starring four Kentucky teen-agers with low vision, this 20-minute video will make you laugh, it will warm your heart, and it will make you feel as though you know these teens! It's all about being successful - self-advocating, dating, playing sports, or achieving in school or on the job - and our four stars will show you how it's done!

Conference Alert!

Past and Present: Pathways to Empowerment, November 14-16, 2002

APH is hosting the annual conference of The Mid-America Conference of Rehabilitation Teachers and the Association of Southeastern Rehabilitation Teachers on November 14, 15, and 16, 2002. Persons who teach blindness coping skills in secondary school, transition, rehabilitation center, and itenerant rehabilitation settings will find this conference to be packed with dynamic, hands-on presentations that enhance their teaching skill set. Excellent hotel rates and early bird registration (before September 16) make the conference very affordable. Check out the program on our web page and register now!

CVI: The Sequel!

You can still register for the next National Instructional Partnerships event, "Taking A Further Look at Cortical Visual Impairment", on the APH website at www.aph.org/advisory/workshops/cvi82002.html. It's not too late to attend this event, hosted in partnership with the Braille Institute of America and the Center for the Partially Sighted in Los Angeles, California, August 27-29, 2002.

Dr. Christine Roman, Marshall University, and Dr. William Takeshita, Center for the Partially Sighted, will discuss materials and intervention techniques for children with cortical visual impairment, as well as strategies for obtaining the best results possible from eye exams for children with CVI. Videotaped case studies will allow participants to participate in the design of intervention programs for several students. Dr. Roman will discuss the use of APH products in intervention strategies, so this is a great opportunity to get some ideas for spending your remaining Federal Quota funds before September 30!

Conference information, along with online registration, is now available at the APH web site, www.aph.org. Please share this information with any interested parties in your area.

If you'd like to partner with APH to host a NIP event in your area, please contact Janie Humphries at 800/223-1839, ext. 367, or email her at jhumphries@aph.org.

Babies Count Making Progress

Dr. Deborah Hatton visited APH in June and great progress was made on the revision of the survey form presently used to submit data to the Early Childhood Registry. Burt Boyer presented a Poster Session at AER International in Toronto on Saturday, July 20, and got excellent feedback on the project. Several additional states expressed interest in getting involved in the near future. On August 26 Burt will conduct a training on the revised survey for several agencies in the Los Angeles area at the Braille Institute. This training is in conjunction with "Taking A Further Look at Cortical Visual Impairment," August 27-29, sponsored by APH, the Braille Institute, and the Center for the Partially Sighted. Anyone interested in the Babies Count training should e-mail Burt at bboyer@aph.org, or call 800/223-1839, ext. 264.

Combined APH Talents Present at Washington State Combined Summer Institute!

APH staff members Janie Humphries, Maria Delgado and Brian Dougherty combined their time and talents to share information about APH products and services at the Washington State Combined Summer Institute in Yakima, WA, July 23 - 25, 2002. Participants in the Institute included parents and teachers of children with visual impairment, hearing impairment, autism, and those interested in early childhood special education.

Presentations focused on ISAVE training, new products and services, ATIC, and APH's web based services, including Louis and AMP. APH products were on display in the exhibit area throughout the conference. A number of regular education teachers attended the sessions and stopped by the booth to garner information before beginning the new school year with a visually impaired child in their classrooms for the first time.

APH Goes to Camp

Campers discussing a sound-emitting ball

Camp Abilities, located at the State University of New York (SUNY) in Brockport, NY, is a one-week sports camp for blind or visually impaired young people. The 57 campers, who ranged in age from 9 to 19, participated in such activities as goal ball, beep baseball, gymnastics, tandem bike riding, track and field, archery, bowling, swimming, rock climbing, judo, and canoeing.

Between physical activities, a number of the campers helped us by participating in sessions focusing on the development of an electronic sound-emitting ball. Most campers said if they had a ball they would play kickball, soccer, bounce it (against a wall), or dribble it. Very few campers had ever played with an electronic sound-emitting ball. Randomly chosen groups were asked to kick and/or throw the two sample balls. Neither ball really showed an advantage in either exercise. The larger inflated ball might prove easier to kick while the smaller foam ball might be easier to grasp and throw. Most campers preferred a two-toned sound, such as a boing-boink, as opposed to a single boing sound or a single boink sound.

For additional information on APH beeper ball development or to offer your suggestions, contact Tristan Pierce at tpierce@aph.org. For more information on Camp Abilities, visit www.brockport.edu/campabilities.

An Exciting Update on Test Central

On June 5-6, APH's 4th floor conference room was filled with 27 smiling faces from 15 states who had come to receive training as test editors. This was Test Central's first training session! The trainees primarily consisted of current and retired vision teachers and braillists. Dr. Carol Allman was the lead instructor with assistance from Barbara Henderson and Debbie Willis. Elaine Kitchel taught the group all about large print issues while Karen Poppe and Fred Otto presented tactile graphics guidelines and examples. Jane Lyons, now Jane Thompson, talked with the group about ATIC. At the conclusion of the training, each trainee was given a take-home test to edit for presentation in large print and braille and to write the necessary notes for the transcriber and compositor. Twenty of the 27 take-home tests have been returned and are being scored by Carol, Barb and Debbie. Each trainee will receive feedback and recommendations.

An all-day working meeting of about 15 people is scheduled for Tuesday, August 6. The purpose of this meeting will be to draft guidelines for test transcribers. Another two-day test editor training session is planned for September 25-26. Please contact Debbie (dwillis@aph.org), Carol (allmanc@prodigy.net), or Barbara (bhenderson@aph.org) for more information or to express interest in being trained as a test editor.

Test Central's application for membership in the Association of Test Publishers was accepted. APH is now among ATP's approximately 120 members in good standing with all the privileges and benefits afforded its members. Membership carries with it a pledge "to promote and advance the integrity of assessment services and products and their value to society."

APH News is compiled by Bob Brasher, bbrasher@aph.org.

For additional recent APH News, click the following:

July Issue - http://www.aph.org/advisory/adv0702.html
June Issue - http://www.aph.org/advisory/adv0602.html
May Issue - http://www.aph.org/advisory/adv0502.html

Archive of all previous issues - http://www.aph.org/advisory/advarch.html

Thanks to the following APH staff members for their contributions to this effort:

  • Sandi Baker
  • Karen Blaker
  • Scott Blome
  • Burt Boyer
  • Janie Humphries
  • Elaine Kitchel
  • Becki Moody
  • Artina Paris
  • Tristan Pierce
  • Jane Thompson
  • Malcolm Turner
  • Debbie Willis
  • Visit Our House!