Advisory Committees Reports, 2004

Report of the Educational Services Advisory Committee to the Trustees of the American Printing House for the Blind for Fiscal Year 2004

Introduction

The American Printing House has a long history as a leader in the field of blindness. The purpose of the Educational Services Advisory Committee (ESAC) is to:

The committee met in April 2004 to address the 2003 ESAC report, and to develop commendations and recommendations based on APH's responses to this report. To assist with this endeavor, interactive presentations were made by APH's administrative staff and ESAC committee members. These interactive presentations provided progress updates on the 2003 recommendations, operations, and information on new initiatives.

ESAC Commendations

The committee commends APH for:

  1. Fostering a collaborative working environment within the organization
  2. Providing the APH organizational chart to all Ex Officio Trustees on an annual basis
  3. Exploring and implementing advanced technology to foster communication, including the APH News, web casting, and advanced website
  4. Collecting timely data on delivery of braille textbooks
  5. Developing a wide range of collaborative partnerships through the Accessible Tests Department
  6. Reporting of additional reading media areas for all students on the census
  7. Encouraging national participation in collecting and analyzing Babies Count data
  8. Initiating a scholarship program for direct service providers to attend the Annual Meeting
  9. Pursuing a self-employment program for prison braille graduates by accessing available federal funds
  10. Marketing APH products to the increasing adult population

ESAC Recommendations

The committee recommends that APH:

  1. Conduct mandatory training to Ex Officio Trustees at the Annual Meeting to provide guidance on responsibilities of Ex Officio Trustees and to review the updated handbook
  2. Survey customer satisfaction for the revised LOUIS system
  3. Communicate more clearly that educational services are directly related to APH specialized materials and products
  4. Conduct National Instructional Partnerships that are broad-based and represent a variety of approaches and techniques in the utilization of APH products and materials to promote promising practices
  5. Continue to develop and promote the Expanded Core Curriculum content areas through trainings and products
  6. Collaborate with other entities (i.e., consumer groups, NAPCI, POBC) to identify students with visual impairments who are being home schooled
  7. Consider the reallocation of unused Federal Quota Funds only to Ex Officio Trustees participating in the Annual Meeting

Report of the Educational Products Advisory Committee to the Trustees of the American Printing House for the Blind for Fiscal Year 2004

Introduction

In May of 2004, the Educational Products Advisory Committee (EPAC) met for the third year as a formal advisory body to the American Printing House for the Blind (APH). The committee members reviewed products under development, met with APH staff, and approved new products for sale with quota funds. It was a pleasure for the Committee to spend time with the innovative and enthusiastic APH staff. After thoughtful review the committee offers the following commendations and recommendations to APH for consideration.

EPAC Commendations

The Committee commends APH for:

  1. The thoughtful and informative responses of APH staff to the 2003 EPAC committee recommendations
  2. The continued emphasis on and development of collaborative relationships such as
    • Prison Braille programs
    • National Library Service
    • AFB Solutions Forum
    • Adult life product development
    • Tactile graphics production
  3. Securing the use of quota funds for children with Cortical Visual Impairment (CVI)
  4. Further development of Cortical Visual Impairment services including
    • adding a project leader
    • sponsoring workshops for the field that tie to APH products
    • clarification and development of products (assessments & education)
    • development of a CVI website
  5. Developing basic technology that can serve as the building blocks for future products
  6. The continued development of the Accessible Tests Department.
  7. Increased emphasis on the development and marketing of adult life products
  8. The progress on the revision of the Patterns series, especially the plans for the integration of the reading, writing, and language portions of the current product
  9. The continual evaluation and re-design of current products such as
    • Sensory Learning Kit
    • Guidebook for the portable sound source
    • Technology products (hardware & software)
  10. Providing technology upgrades on the APH website at no charge
  11. Developing APH-produced product instruction videos
  12. Development of the ATIC large print production process

EPAC Recommendations

The Committee recommends that APH:

  1. Complete in a timely manner the data gathering and analysis currently being undertaken by the Braille Committee and determine the most appropriate way to incorporate the findings into the APH strategic plan
  2. Continue active involvement in the development and promotion of best practices in the area of tactile graphics
  3. Develop "quick reference" guides (Braille and print) for Studio Recorder and Book Port and make them available for download from the APH website
  4. Consider centralizing the entire textbook ordering process for both large print and Braille, into ATIC, as an expanded "textbook department"
  5. Explore the possibility of using unexpended Federal Quota funds to support ATIC Braille transcription, including tactile graphics
  6. Utilize the information in the APH Strategic Plan for Product Development and Management to determine the most efficient and effective use and distribution of APH resources
  7. Expand the number of product surveys that are web-based
  8. Continue to refine the electronic communication to Ex Officio Trustees - for example, new product announcements (Braille Rap song) and clarification of intended audience
  9. Continue the work noted in the response to the 2003 committee report in the area of benchmarks and standards
  10. Adhere to an established timeline for the Patterns series revision
  11. Consider creating print versions of the remainder of the Patterns library series
  12. Complete the work of incorporating the Cortical Visual Impairment web material as a part of the APH website
  13. Produce instructional materials to highlight ways to use APH products with children with CVI
  14. Consider the addition of a web-casting feature to expand the impact of APH trainings and workshops

Committees

Members of the APH Educational Services Advisory Committee:

Members of the APH Educational Products Advisory Committee:

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