Your monthly link to the latest information on the products, services, and training opportunities of the American Printing House for the Blind.
Have ISAVE Will Travel!
October was the month for ISAVE training in South Carolina and in New York City! Some 60 educators in South Carolina – TVI’s at the SC School for the Deaf and the Blind and in Outreach, Early Interventionists, teachers of students with multiple disabilities, and related services personnel – gathered at the SCSDB with APH’s Sandi Baker to learn everything they could about APH’s ISAVE in a one-day training on October 22. These educators were eager learners as they organized their ISAVE assessment tools, found out what to do with the color-coded booklets and protocol, and learned the meaning of the term mydriasis! We understand that ISAVE sales soared following this training! Thanks go to EOT Elizabeth McKown for organizing this event.
At Hunter College on October 27, 30 students from the classes of Dr. Rosanne Silberman and Dr. Ellen Trief were put to work as they participated in an interactive ISAVE training. Students were assigned various components to study and then report on, and a case-study approach was used for students to learn to complete the protocol as part of an ISAVE assessment. Thanks to Rosanne for her hospitality and to Rosanne and Ellen for their on-going support.
CVI NIP Event a Success in Utah!
The APH National Instructional Partnership (NIP) training on Cortical Visual Impairment and the use of APH materials, by Dr. Chris Roman-Lantzy, was a hit in Salt Lake City on November 3 and 4. More than 90 teachers of the visually impaired, related services staff, and parents caught Chris’ enthusiasm as she talked about the causes and characteristics of CVI, and more importantly, assessment and intervention strategies to use with children who have CVI – using APH products and materials, of course! Teachers (and parents), hungry for this information, devoured every word. Thanks to APH Ex Officio Trustees Lee Robinson and Lori Quigley for partnering with APH to provide this valuable training!
APH Names Director of Research
After a national search process, APH proudly announces Dr. Ralph Bartley’s selection as the new Director of Research. For the past year, Dr. Bartley has served successfully as the interim director of the department.
Prior to this year of solid accomplishment with APH, Ralph served, most recently, as Superintendent of the Kentucky School for the Blind. His 30+ year career in the field of education of students who are blind and visually impaired certainly provides us with a wealth of expertise and experience.
We are very pleased that Ralph has accepted this responsibility.
Babies are Being Counted!
Burt Boyer, Coordinator of Babies Count Project at APH, traveled to Raleigh and Chapel Hill, North Carolina, to visit with his colleague and friend, Deborah Hatton. Dr. Hatton, senior researcher at the FPG Child Development Institute at the University of North Carolina, analyzes the data collected for the Babies Count Project. Burt, Deborah, and Dawn Edgerton, who works with Dr. Hatton, reviewed the data collected and made the decision to validate approximately twenty (20%) of the 2,000 surveys submitted by participating agencies. Dr. Hatton will prepare a report on the submitted data within the next three months. Every participating agency is to be congratulated for their efforts, and for wanting to make a difference in how children with visual impairments are served.
Missouri joined the participating states in late September. The Children’s Center for the Visually Impaired in Kansas City, Missouri, and the Delta Gamma Center for Children with Visual Impairments received training to enter data on-line. Staff of both Centers are excited about the Babies Count Project, and will be submitting data in the very near future.
Families Want Information and Support
APH’s Burt Boyer traveled to Flagstaff, Arizona in September to meet with families to discuss APH products, and share his experiences. Kristi Lawrence, Early Childhood Educator from the Arizona School for the Deaf and the Blind, planned the meeting. Several of the families included children with Albinism, and parents had no hesitation to ask Burt questions. Topics included driving, sensitivity to light, use of low vision aids, large print and Braille, contrast, sensitivity to Albinism, and APH products. A pizza party prior to the meeting provided time for eating, fun, and socialization. It was nice to partner with one of our Ex Officio Agencies-ASDB!
National Family Conference – August 12-14, 2005
APH, the Hadley School for the Blind, and the National Association for Parents of Children with Visual Impairments (NAPVI) announce plans for the National Family Conference, to be held August 12-14, 2005, at the Galt House in Louisville, Kentucky. A major highlight of the conference will be keynote addresses by Dr. Deborah Hatton and Kevin O’Conner. The theme will be "Families Connecting With Families." The Galt House is allowing excellent room rates for the conference: Suites (750 sq. ft.) in the East Wing will be offered for $85 a night, and rooms in the West Wing will be $77 a night. Additional information is available on the following websites: www.aph.org, www.hadley.edu, www.napvi.org
Sharing Products On the Road
Burt Boyer traveled to Romney, West Virginia (his old stomping grounds), October 21-22, to participate in the West Virginia School for the Deaf and the Blind Fall Conference – Harvest of Connections. The conference drew 275 participants representing educators of the blind and deaf, primarily from West Virginia. APH Ex Officio Trustee Donna See, Director of the Instructional Materials Resource Center, partnered to exhibit APH products and to conduct presentations on Book Port, ENVISION, Teacher’s Pet, and Web Chase. Donna was able to provide the APH products from the center which is an excellent way for APH and Ex Officio Trustees to partner.
Burt traveled to Syracuse, New York, October 17-19, to exhibit at the New York AER conference which drew 90 attendees. In addition, Burt promoted the Babies Count Project. Exhibitors were also given time to attend sessions, and a session titled, "Preschool – Getting Off To A Good Start: The Importance of a Team Approach," displayed many APH products. The presenters were Suzanne Mullen and Carolynn Longuil.
Custom Large Print Textbook Orders
Options at APH! Now you have two options in large print textbooks from APH.
- Option 1 – The traditional APH enlarged textbooks have been around for many years but now offers full color.
- Option 2 – The new APH large print process, created by ATIC, is now also available. This new process produces large print textbooks in standard textbook size, 18 point font minimum, and in full color!
With options can come confusion. To address your questions we have established a new email address to provide information on the status of orders, costs, time-line expectancies, etc. Simply address your questions to email@example.com and you will receive a response right away!
Please discard current APH large print textbook order forms and replace them with the new form available on the web at www.aph.org/atic/atic_lp_form.html
APH Seeks Product Evaluators for the Tangle Book and Tangle Toys
APH is hoping to find seven (7) field test sites for the new Tangle Book and Tangle Toys. Braille-reading instructional staff will be needed at two sites, and print-reading instructional staff at the remaining sites. APH will send each site The Tangle Book, in the appropriate reading medium, by the end of February, 2005, for evaluation. Color and texture specific Tangle Toys will accompany each book. The guidebook contains activities for practicing motor skills, visual and tactile tracking, color and tactile discrimination, individual creativity, and active team learning. Multiple students (ages 3-7 years old) at each field test site can participate in the fun. Students with low vision and blindness can participate in activities together. Students with special needs can also enjoy and learn using the play activities. To sign up, contact Tristan Pierce at firstname.lastname@example.org. Warning: This toy may be addictive to stressed-out and/or fun loving teachers and other instructional staff!
The Hall of Fame for Leaders and Legends of the Blindness Field is Now Accepting Nominations for 2005!
We are pleased to announce that your Hall of Fame for Leaders and Legends of the Blindness Field is now accepting nominations for 2005 induction consideration. If you are interested in learning more about the process and/or submitting a qualified nominee, please visit the following link on the APH web site:
Remember to submit supporting letters (up to three) separately if you electronically nominate.
For more information on the Hall of Fame for Leaders and Legends of the Blindness Field, visit the web location at:
Please share this information with all who may be interested.
Richard Hoover Plaque Proudly Displayed in Hall of Fame
Dr. Richard Hoover recently became the 18th legend to have a completed bas relief plaque displayed in the Hall of Fame for Leaders and Legends of the Blindness Field.
Dr. Hoover has been referred to as the "Father of the Lightweight Long Cane Technique." In 1944 as an army sergeant, he was assigned to the center for the treatment of blinded soldiers at Valley Forge Army Hospital. There he developed a successful cane technique, replacing the traditional short wooden cane with a lightweight long cane cut to a prescription length and using the technique of arcing the cane from side to side with the tip touching the ground in front of the trailing foot.
For more information on this field giant, and how you can support this exciting venture, visit the "virtual" home of the Hall of Fame for Leaders and Legends of the Blindness Field.
Recent APH Callahan Museum Acquisition
Sometimes a seemingly obscure document can be just what is needed to "fill in a blank" somewhere in our history. That’s why the Callahan Museum welcomes donations of artifacts and archives that, at first glance, seem worthless. An APH Warrant Book, recently added to our archival collection, might prove to be a key to a future historical puzzle. Placed in the museum by Theresa Close, office services manager of the APH accounting department, the warrant book was used by APH to request the transfer of funds from the US Treasury in accordance with the Act to Promote the Education of the Blind between the years 1923 and 1969. The stubs track the semi-annual requests and their amounts.
Plan Ahead for IN TOUCH WITH KNOWLEDGE
Bringing the Callahan Museum’s traveling exhibit to your community requires a major investment in time, fundraising, and marketing. It is the only traveling exhibit currently available in the country that tells the story of the educational history of blind people. Other traveling exhibits are often pictorial panels with few, if any artifacts or hands-on exhibits. IN TOUCH WITH KNOWLEDGE is rich in tactile exhibits, original artifacts, and it is accessible with text in large type, braille and audio.
The APH development department secured the funding to produce this high-quality exhibit and our rental fees cover only maintenance and other costs associated with making the exhibit available. Schools and blindness organizations may want to put together several funding sources to bring the exhibit to their community. There are funders in every community who would be proud to have their names associated to a project that provides a positive resource for disability awareness. There are colleges, community centers, libraries and other exhibit venues that would welcome a way to extend their educational missions and would make good partners for a blindness organization. Foundation and public grant making organizations often encourage partnerships in communities.
For pictures and detailed information, please visit our web site http://www.aph.org/museum/intouch.html You may call the Callahan Museum at 800/223-1839 and speak to Carol Tobe (ext. 365) or Anne Rich (ext. 364).
"On The Road" to Improving Testing Situations
On November 9, Carol Allman and Barbara Henderson provided a one day workshop titled "Making Tests Accessible for Persons with Visual Impairments" to the staff at Educational Testing Service (ETS) in Princeton, New Jersey. Representatives from The New York Institute for Special Education and the Law School Admission Council in Newtown, Pennsylvania joined the ETS participants. The workshop was a condensed version of the usual two-day event that the Accessible Tests Department has been providing at APH to state assessment personnel and test developers during the past two years.
Going "on the road" gave staff the opportunity to address accessibility issues to a much larger audience. In the morning, 65 participants were provided general information on the population of blind and visually impaired individuals in the U.S. and discussion on the legal, educational (including testing), and societal issues that relate to persons with visual impairments. In the afternoon 35 staff attended a session in which APH sample test items were reviewed for adaptation into braille, tactile graphics, and large print formats.
Plans are to stay "on the road" with a daylong pre-conference workshop on March 3, 2005 at the California Transcribers and Educators of the Visually Handicapped (CTEVH) Conference. Another workshop June 17, 2005 will be attached to the Large Scale Assessment Conference sponsored by the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO). It is an exciting time and the Accessible Tests Department is feeling effective in these testing efforts!
APH Book Port Enhanced!
In a recent issue of the newsletter, we announced feature enhancements to Book Port that included support for files from audible.com. While that support is a tremendous new asset, we didn’t stop there. The new Book Port contains a host of new features, too numerous to explain here.
One of the new Book Port features (now included in all software updates) is an addition to the automatic updates feature. In previous versions of the software, we listed the changes, which you either downloaded or read about at another location. Now, the update notification dialog provides a "Details" button that takes you immediately to descriptions of the new features of that software revision, giving you the information to choose whether to update or wait until the next revision.
Another new feature is the ability to enter search terms using a braille keyboard. You may have noticed that Book Port contains 18 keys laid out in three columns of six keys. We did that for a reason: turn the unit sideways, and you have six columns of keys in three rows, just enough for a braille keyboard. When you turn the unit sideways and issue a command, the top row of six keys becomes the traditional six dot braille keyboard. The space bar becomes the two middle keys of the bottom row. The left and right keys on the bottom row are dots 7 and 8 for eight-dot braille. The keys to the left and right of Space are Backspace and Delete. The middle row contains Escape, Left Arrow, Up Arrow, Down Arrow, Right Arrow, and Enter. Currently, the braille keyboard is supported only for entering search terms, but who knows–some day you might be able to type notes with the device!
While we can’t detail every new feature in Book Port, we can point you to a document that describes the changes and provides links for more complete information about the feature. Each of the products at www.aph.org/tech has a "What’s New" link that describes the new features for that product. You can find complete details for Book Port enhancements by reading www.aph.org/tech/bp_new.htm
Louis Database Satisfaction Survey
Please look for a brief survey for Louis users to be posted on the APH web site soon! December 15 marks the one-year anniversary of the revised Louis web interface. Please stop by the web site and take a few minutes to complete the survey and let us know your experiences with the re-design.
Louis was revised in response to numerous suggestions from users with a view to make the database more user-friendly for speech and low-vision users.
The demo that profiles the changes made to the Louis web interface and walks you through the newer features is still available:
NEW! ‘K’ Sonar
The ‘K’ Sonar is a small, affordable, electronic travel device that can be used independently or attached to a standard long cane. By listening to the sounds produced by the unit, the user can determine the distance, location, and features of an object.
The included headphones provide audio feedback, as the pitch from the ‘K’ Sonar changes to indicate distance to the object being scanned. Different objects create different sounds, which, with practice, can be associated with a specific item.
The ‘K’ Sonar comes with:
- Rechargeable battery
- Power adapter
‘K’ Sonar: 1-07000-00 — $629.00
APH Revises Two Popular Products
UPDATED! Psychoeducational Assessment of Visually Impaired Persons Videotape is now Closed Captioned!
This video is designed for teachers or school psychologists with no previous experience assessing individuals who are visually impaired. It explains the types of information provided by various tests and the limitations of using the results. It also details the testing process from preparation through use of the information.
Psychoeducational Assessment of Visually Impaired Persons Videotape: 1-30003-01 — $25.00
Shape Inserts for Let’s See: Vision Development Activities
Several customers were concerned that with heavy use, the paint could flake off of the foam board shape inserts from the Let’s See: Perceptual Kit. APH shared those concerns and on investigation, found that there were occasional problems with paint adhesion.
APH has eliminated this problem completely by switching to inserts made from a pigmented poly resin material. Since the color is part of the material itself, it cannot come off.
We are always looking for ways to improve our products and welcome customer feedback. Feel free to call the customer service department at 1-800-223-1839 or use the APH Product Forum on the APH Web Site at http://www.aph.org/products/prodforum.html
Shape Inserts for Let’s See: Vision Development Activities Perceptual Activities Kit (Inserts for Foam Boards)
NOTE: These are replacement parts ONLY.
Heart Insert, Red: 61-112-115 — $5.00
Circle Insert, Yellow: 61-112-116 — $5.00
Triangle Insert, Purple: 61-112-117 — $5.00
Square Insert, Blue: 61-112-118 — $5.00
Let’s See: Vision Development Activities Complete Sensory Kit:
1-08141-00 — $270.00
Let’s See: Vision Development Activities Complete Perceptual Kit:
1-08151-00 — $356.00
CORRECTION! Collegiate Boldline Spiral Notebook
In the November 2004 APH News, we reported that the Collegiate Bold Line Spiral Notebook contained yellow paper. It actually contains white paper. Here is the information as it should have read:
Collegiate Boldline Spiral Notebook
This notebook has more closely spaced bold lines than our other Boldline Notebook. This notebook has 7/16" line spaces, 75 sheets of 8 1/2 x 11 white paper, and a heavy-duty cover with black and white marble design with a blank subject area.
Collegiate Boldline Spiral Notebook: 1-04826-00 — $5.50
APH Announces the Second Title in the Jessie Ball duPont Series, Looking Out for Sarah, is Now Available
APH has been able to expand the number of titles in the popular Chrissy’s Collection of colorful print/braille children’s books because of the generous support of the Jessie Ball duPont Fund. The eight titles in the duPont Series have been carefully chosen from commercially-available print titles to promote reading as a family activity, and appeal to a wide variety of ages, interests, and reading levels.
The first title in the duPont Series is Capital! Washington D.C., from A-Z by Laura Krauss Melmed. This rhyming alphabet book explores famous landmarks and historic places throughout our nation’s capital, taking readers on a tour from the Air and Space Museum to the (National) Zoo. For ages 8-10.
Looking Out for Sarah by Glenna Lang, is the story of a typical day in the life of Perry the dog guide, working, playing, running errands, meeting friends, and looking out for Sarah, his owner. For grades K-3.
Capital! Washington DC, A-Z (print/braille): 9-15036-00 — $10.00
Looking Out for Sarah (print/braille): 9-14009-00 — $10.00
NOTE: duPont Series Books are not available for purchase with Federal Quota funds.
APH News Credits
Dr. Tuck Tinsley
Malcolm Turner, APH Web Site Coordinator
Thanks to the following APH staff:
- Carol Allman, Consultant, Accessible Tests
- Sandi Baker, Field Services Representative
- Burt Boyer, Field Services Representative
- Brian Dougherty, Graphics Designer, Communications
- Tony Grantz, Business Development Director, Finance
- Becki Moody, Communications Support Specialist
- Julia Myers, Director, Resource Services
- Artina Paris-Jones, Assistant, Field services
- Tristan Pierce, Multiple Disabilities Project Leader, Research
- Larry Skutchan, Technology Project Leader, Research
- Jane Thompson, Director, ATIC
- Carol Tobe, Director, Callahan Museum
Bob Brasher, Vice President, Advisory Services and Research
For additional recent APH News, click the following:
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