APH News: October 2014
Your monthly link to the latest information on the products, services, and training opportunities from the American Printing House for the Blind.
Exciting New APH Products Announced!
Read on to learn about these new products – now available!
- APH Fall Harvest Sale
- New Downloadable Manuals Available
- New! Parenting With a Visual Impairment: Advice for Raising Babies and Young Children
- APH Braille Book Corner
Full Steam Ahead!
October is upon us, and it’s fall in Louisville! That means it’s time to steam ahead into Annual Meeting, and we’re prepared to do just that. We are excited to welcome attendees to Louisville, October 16 – 18, for a boatload of exciting presentations, awesome activities, outstanding products, and great opportunities to network.
The agenda is in place, and you will be awed by the powerful keynote address by Dr. Joshua Miele, by the entertaining and informative opening session aboard the Spirit of Peoria, by the "Teacher Talks" in the Product Showcase, and more. We need your input on products in development, and you need to learn about ways to use new products with your students and clients. Poster sessions? We got ’em! Informative general sessions? We got ’em! Related meetings? We’ve got ’em by the dozen! Derby Pie? We’ve got that, too!
Online registration is available through Friday, October 3, and after that we will be happy to accept your registration at the door. There’s no extra fee for onsite registration, and we have plenty of space for anyone who wants to attend. Come get on board with us!
Great Minds Meeting at APH!
APH was thrilled to host the fifth "Meeting of the Minds" at APH in September, in partnership with the American Foundation for the Blind. Forty-one university personnel, faculty and students, from across the U.S. and Canada brought their wisdom, experience, knowledge, and concerns to the table to strengthen the partnership between APH and pre-service programs in the field.
Product Survey: APH SMART Brailler by Perkins
APH would like customer feedback on a recently released product, the APH SMART Brailler by Perkins. If you have used this product, we hope you’ll take this brief online survey to tell us what you think.
Product Survey: Need for CVI products
APH is working to increase the number of products appropriate to working with children diagnosed with CVI. Please spend a few minutes thinking about the children that you know and fill out the survey. Think beyond assessment and into the Phase II and Phase III levels where we need to incorporate vision with function and increase the complexity levels for our students. Brainstorm motor tasks, Light Box activities, literacy, and games …use your imagination and take this opportunity to share your great ideas!
Low Vision Field Test Opportunity
Our Department of Education Liaison
Earlier this year Annette Reichman moved to the Office of Policy & Planning in the Office of Special Education & Rehabilitation Services (OSERS), established by Assistant Secretary Michael Yudin. In this position, Annette has an additional role of reviewing reauthorizations and realigning regulations with statutory language. She remains the Director Liaison of Special Institutes; in that role she oversees APH’s administration of the Act to Promote Education for the Blind.
Other Department of Education program analysts overseeing federal grants are within OSEP, NIDDR & RSA. We are pleased to see Annette in a position from which she can provide information regarding upcoming legislation that may impact the provision of educational materials to students who are blind and visually impaired.
We are saddened, but celebrating the lives of three greats in the field of vision, who had among their many connections deep ties to the American Printing House for the Blind.
We are saddened by the passing of Dr. Carson Nolan, former president of the American Printing House for the Blind. Dr. Nolan had an enormous influence on the education of blind students through his published research and through the products developed by APH during his tenure.
Dr. Nolan earned his Ph.D. from Washington University in St. Louis in 1953. Nolan joined APH in 1957 as Director of Educational Research. Examples of Nolan’s many research projects included several studies to evaluate methods of braille reading (Nolan, Kederis, & Morris) leading to the development of "Patterns," APH’s highly-regarded braille reading & writing curriculum. Nolan assumed the post of APH president in 1976 and served until his retirement in 1988. Dr. Nolan’s legacy can be seen in many APH products today, including braille, tactile graphic, and assessment products.
In addition, Nolan was an Associate Professor at the University of Louisville from 1962-1972. Nolan was active in the Council for Exceptional Children (CEC) and the Association for the Education and Rehabilitation of the Blind and Visually Impaired (AER).
In this newsletter, we are featuring two of Dr. Nolan’s publications in the "Treasures From the APH Libraries" section.
We are mourning the loss of the incomparable Fred L. Gissoni, who passed away at the age of 84. Fred contributed 60 years of service to people who are blind and visually impaired. Fred was known across the United States and around the world for his brilliant intellect, inventiveness, and impish sense of humor. Before coming to APH in 1988, he retired from what was then called the Kentucky Department for the Blind.
Fred served for 23 years at APH, retiring in 2011 from our Customer Relations Department, but his legacy will live on for years to come. He helped create several products for people who are blind, including creating a prototype device that would eventually lead to APH’s Braille ‘n Speak. For his work on this device, Fred, along with Wayne Thompson, was the recipient of APH’s "Creative Use of Braille Award" in 1998.
Fred had an encyclopedic knowledge of the blindness field. He would usually be able to answer customer questions immediately. He was very generous with his time, and patient with customers of all skill levels. Fred’s world of knowledge eventually became what is now the "Fred’s Head from APH" blog (www.fredshead.info). He is a legend, and he will be greatly missed.
It is with great sadness that we report the passing of Dr. Richard Welsh. Welsh was born in Pittsburgh, PA and received his doctorate in rehabilitation counseling from the University of Pittsburgh. He had three adult children and five grandchildren. He remarried in 2001 to fellow professional and APH staff member Mary Nelle McLennan.
Welsh was an instructor at Western Pennsylvania School for Blind Children, at the University of Pittsburgh, and then at Cleveland State University. Beginning in 1978, Welsh served as Superintendent of the Maryland School for the Blind. From 1990 until 2003 he was an administrator of Pittsburgh Vision Services. Welsh served as an Ex Officio Trustee of APH and provided his valued input on many Trustee committees.
The remarkable contributions to his chosen profession centered around Welsh’s visionary leadership in orientation and mobility. He was instrumental in establishing the O&M profession’s Code of Ethics. Welsh, along with co-editor Bruce Blasch, wrote the authoritative textbook Foundations of Orientation and Mobility. He also wrote many articles and chapters in texts on mobility and on the psycho-social aspects of rehabilitation of the people who are visually impaired.
Among the many honors Welsh received are the Migel medal from AFB in 2004, NCPABVI Leadership Award in 2003, AER’s Ambrose Shotwell Award in 1996, AER’s Lawrence Blaha Award in 1988 and the C. Warren Bledsoe Award from AAWB in 1981. Professional awards were named in his honor, and he was named the 2008 Distinguished Alumni of the University of Pittsburgh School of Education. Welsh was inducted into the blindness field’s Hall of Fame in 2008.
Welsh’s accomplishments are too numerous to list here, for more information on his extraordinary life, visit Welsh’s Hall of Fame biography page. Rick has been described as "larger than life," a visionary leader, very humble, approachable and a wise mentor and role model who quietly listened to others and made them feel valued.
The "Established" APH Product Series
Book Port Plus
Book Port DT
APH offers the choice of two Digital Talking Book players, the Book Port Plus™ and the Book Port DT™. Both devices read Digital Talking Books, play digital audio, play internet radio, download podcasts, read computer files, and make superb recordings.
The Book Port Plus’ small size, quality recording, and unique capabilities make it an ideal replacement for cassette player/recorders, earlier Digital Talking Book (DTB) players, or inaccessible commercial digital recorders. Its specialized hardware and software makes Book Port Plus easier to use, more reliable, and more flexible than cell phones or PCs that might perform some of its functions.
The quality components and innovative software make Book Port Plus an excellent music player and outstanding recorder. The reading controls let you read a wide variety of books in both audio (human speech) and text (synthetic speech) formats. Its ability to create Digital Talking Book recordings is unique. This device has a stereo microphone jack, stereo headphone jack, built-in speaker, and built-in microphone.
The Book Port Plus also has the ability to stream internet radio stations, receive podcasts, and transfer files from the PC to the Book Port wirelessly. Its high-speed USB lets you read NLS DTB cartridges, thumb drives, and USB CD-ROM drives and it can support up to a 32GB high capacity SD™ card.
Loaded with many of the same features as APH’s popular hand-held Book Port Plus™, the Book Port DT™ is a desktop-style Digital Talking Book player and recorder. The sleek design includes a large, clear-sounding speaker and easy-to-use controls. An included, removable mask hides all but essential controls, allowing for very simple operation of Book Port DT. Remove the mask, and you can access all features of this amazing player/recorder.
In addition to the features of the Book Port Plus, the Book Port DT offers a National Library Service (NLS) Cartridge slot/USB port, a large speaker for whole-room sound, Wi-Fi and wired internet connections, and additional recording capabilities to record and edit DAISY 2.x or 3.x.
APH on the Road
APH at the 2014 Envision Conference in Minneapolis
Field Services Representative Kerry Isham exhibited a number of popular products at the 2014 Envision Conference in Minneapolis, MN. The event took place September 17-20. This was a multidisciplinary conference for professionals in the low vision rehabilitation field, at which there were approximately 300 attendees from around the country. APH was among the 28 exhibitors, and our booth was busy with interested and inquisitive individuals showing particular interest in the Mini-Lite Box and Swirly Mats, the All-In-One Board, the VisioBook, Going Places, and the Lighting Guide Kit.
APH Trustee Takes APH Products On the Road for Us to San Diego!
California EOT Jonn Paris-Salb writes to APH, “I want to thank you for supporting my showcasing the APH products at the STEM Symposium in San Diego, September 22-23, 2014. I was able to talk to a lot of people this year, much better booth location. This is the only picture I have, but it clearly shows a number of great APH products that reinforce STEM. Unfortunately, I brought too much stuff and had to keep rotating it during the conference. “ APH THANKS JONN VERY MUCH!
Indiana Vision Expo, 2014
APH Field Services Representative Kerry Isham was on hand at the 9th Annual Indiana Vision Expo at the State Library in downtown Indianapolis on Saturday, September 27. This event is the Midwest’s largest trade show for consumers with blindness and visual impairments. Hundreds of individuals with vision loss, their friends and families were in attendance, showing particular interest in such products as the Book Port DT, Braille Beads: APH Starter Kit, the Braille DateBook, the Game Kit, The Impressor, and the Better Vision Lamp. APH is pleased to be a “regular” every year at the Vision Expo. It is an honor and a pleasure to meet with so many consumers, and introduce them to our newest and our tried-and-true products.
From the Field
BANA to Hold 2014 Fall Meeting in Alexandria, VA, November 7–9
The Braille Authority of North America (BANA), which meets face-to-face semiannually, will hold its 2014 fall meeting November 7–9 in Alexandria, VA. This meeting will be hosted by the Association for the Education and Rehabilitation of the Blind and Visually Impaired (AER), a BANA member organization. Meetings—including an Open Forum from 10:00 AM through noon on Saturday, November 8—will take place at the AER headquarters, which is located at 1703 N. Beauregard Street, Suite 440, Alexandria, VA 22311.
Items on the Board’s agenda include updates of BANA’s numerous ongoing projects. The Board will review formal reports from all of BANA’s technical committees such as music, math, foreign language, and tactile graphics and will take action on recommendations when appropriate.
BANA continues to plan the transition to Unified English Braille (UEB) in the United States. In-depth reports will be presented by BANA’s UEB Task Force, which is made up of Kim Charlson (ACB), Frances Mary D’Andrea (AFB), Judy Dixon (NLS), Jennifer Dunnam (NFB), Cindi Laurent (NBA), Mary Nelle McLennan (APH), and Sue Reilly (CTEBVI).
Father Carroll Comes to Life in the Museum
Collections Manager Anne Rich labeling files from the new Father Thomas J. Carroll Papers at APH
In May, the Museum at APH received a shipping pallet from Boston, stacked with sturdy cardboard boxes. Last November, Museum Director Mike Hudson traveled to the Carroll Center for the Blind outside Boston to discuss a partnership, and the pallet was the result of his negotiations with Carroll Center Director Joe Abely, former director Rachel Rosenbaum, and staffers Karen Ross (APH Ex Officio Trustee for the Carroll Center), and Dina Rosenbaum. The forty boxes contained the life’s work of Hall-of-Famer Father Thomas Carroll (1909-1971) as well as important files from Dr. Leo Riley, Dr. Thomas Caulfield, Father Robert Carolan, and Robert Amendola.
Carroll was a seminal figure in the blindness field. As the assistant director of Boston’s Catholic Guild for the Blind, he became the chaplain for the U.S. Army’s two rehabilitation centers for blinded soldiers during World War II. He emerged not only as the spiritual leader of a group of young men that would push the boundaries of every aspect of what it meant to be blind, but he worked to bridge the significant divide between war and civilian blind throughout his life. If there was a national committee, anywhere, Carroll served on it. If you had a banquet, he was your first choice for the keynote address. His path breaking book, “Blindness,” published first in 1961, is still considered required reading.
Unfortunately, a flood in the basement of the original St. Paul’s Rehabilitation Center, which Carroll originally furnished with surplus army camp equipment when he opened it in 1954, had left the collection in poor condition. Much of it was covered with mold, water stains, and rust from the thousands of paperclips and staples so loved by 1960s clerical staff. Staff at the Carroll Center had made heroic efforts to save the collection after the disaster. Realizing that they needed some help, they turned to APH. Director of Field Services Janie Blome, in Boston for a conference, grabbed a box to share with the museum, which started the conversation. The result was an agreement to preserve the collection and make it available to researchers.
Father Thomas Carroll
Staff at APH are painstakingly removing each staple, replacing ruined file folders, and organizing the collection for use. It contains decades of correspondence between Carroll and virtually every leader of the blindness field. Although almost every area of the field is addressed, it is particularly strong in the areas of orientation and mobility, blindness and geriatrics, blindness and psychiatry, visualization or “videation,” blinded veterans, blindness and hearing, and vocational rehabilitation.
“The most wonderful thing about this incredible collection,” said Hudson, “is the juxtaposition of Carroll the priest, the administrator, the healer, the counselor, the reformer, and the visionary, with Carroll the very human fellow who had trouble quitting smoking, who rants against fragrance gardens, who loved to buy gadgets out of the back of magazines. They are all there together, super hero and completely ordinary man.”
Treasures From the APH Libraries
The APH Barr Library supports research initiatives at APH, while the Migel Library is one of the largest collections of nonmedical information related to blindness in the world. Although the collections do not circulate, arrangements can be made to use the materials on-site. In addition, an ongoing digitization effort means APH will continue to make materials available through the online catalog at http://migel.aph.org.
From the Barr Library: Kederis, Cleves J. and Carson Y. Nolan. A Pilot Study of Recognition Thresholds for Braille Words. Louisville: American Printing House for the Blind, n.d.
The purpose of this study was to determine the impact that word length, familiarity, and orthography had on Braille recognition thresholds. The subjects consisted of ten students at the Kentucky School for the Blind, ranging from grades five through twelve. With the use of a tachistotactometer and a screen through which braille words appeared, 54 of the most frequent words were presented for durations too brief to be recognized. The exposure times were gradually increased until they were comprehended. Whereas prior research demonstrated that well-known words were distinguished more quickly than individual letters, this experiment showed that recognition took two-to-nine times as long as recognition of individual characters. Not only did this finding parallel the authors’ assumption that legibility was more closely linked to the number of dots in the characters than to their configuration, but it also emphasized the disparity between visual and tactual reading.
From the Migel Library: Nolan, Carson Y., and June E. Morris. Aural Study Systems for the Visually Handicapped: Final Report. Louisville: American Printing House for the Blind, 1973.
This report was concerned with the slow rates of reading involved with braille and large print. The inefficiency of these formats was said to prohibit the completion of lessons for students who were blind. The research presented argues that auditory learning is up to three times as efficient, with a comparable level of comprehension. Because of this, APH designed a special record player and books-on-record. The player had the ability to pause, change speed and direction, and a included photoelectric cell to navigate between text and indexes on the book on record. The indexing developed during this process was determined to be useful for audio reference books on record in the future, as well. The report is available at Internet Archive at https://archive.org/details/auralstudysystem00cars.
APH is working with the Internet Archive to digitize portions of the M.C. Migel Library. Search the phrase “full text” to find these items at http://migel.aph.org. The digitized texts are available in a variety of formats, including DAISY, Kindle, EPUB, PDF, etc.
Have You "Liked" Our Field’s Hall of Fame?
Michael T. Collins
APH has been proud to host the Hall of Fame for Leader’s and Legend’s of the Blindness Field, a project of our entire profession. Have you Liked the Hall Facebook page? Receive periodic updates on new artifacts and features of the Hall, as well as interesting information about the giants of the field inducted there. Our newest inductees, Michael T. Collins and Newel Perry, will have their formal induction ceremony during APH’s Annual Meeting on October 17, in Louisville.
Social Media Spotlight
Do you tweet? Here are some helpful Twitter hashtags to use to stay connected to the blindness community. Search for these hashtags, or use them yourself to join the conversation!
- #visuallyimpaired – Tweets specifically about visual impairments and blindness
- #blindness – You will probably find this hashtag more useful than #blind, because a lot of people use #blind as a catch-all for phrases such as "blind as a bat," "blind to the truth," and, especially right now, TV’s "The Voice" blind auditions.
- #braille – Tweets from organizations, parents, students, and adults about braille literacy, DIY braille projects, braille resources, and current news.
- #UEB – Stay up to date on the latest news involving Unified English Braille.
- #a11y – The most comprehensive hashtag for anyone looking for accessibility resources, news, events, and more. There are 11 letters between the a and y in "accessibility," hence the abbreviated hashtag. Some people prefer to spell it out, so searching #accessibility could also be helpful.
Use these hashtags, and follow @APHfortheBlind on Twitter!
"Like" APH at Our Facebook Page!
APH Travel Calendar
October 6, 2014
Perkins Innovation Advisory Group
October 23-25, 2014
National Braille Association, Fall 2014, Professional Development Conference
October 23-24, 2014
Functional Vision & Learning Media Assessment
October 23-24, 2014
Tennessee Unity Conference
October 24, 2014
MN TBVI & COMS Statewide Conference
October 26-28, 2014
SOMA Conference 2014
October 27-31, 2014
Illinois Bureau of Blind Services Braille Literacy Conference
October 30-November 2, 2014
National Rehabilitation Association, 2014 National Training Conference
Des Moines, IA
November 3-4, 2014
Ohio Chapter AER (AERO) Conference
November 5-8, 2014
NAEYC 2014 Annual Conference & Expo
November 7, 2014
VRATE 2014 – 18th Annual Vision Rehabilitation & Technology Expo
November 10-12, 2014
Colorado Springs, CO
November 13-14, 2014
South Carolina AER Conference
Myrtle Beach, SC
November 21, 2014
Indiana AER Conference
APH Fall Harvest Sale
Load up a world of savings on selected APH products with APH’s Fall Harvest Sale 2014, October 1—December 31. As always, first come, first served.
New Downloadable Manuals Available
Get the manual you need instantly! APH offers a selected list of product manuals available for free download (www.aph.org/manuals/). You may print or emboss these as needed. We will continue to package hard copies of these manuals with their products and sell hard copy replacements.
Newly added manuals include:
- Wilson Reading System: Adapted for Students who are Blind and visually Impaired
Parenting With a Visual Impairment: Advice for Raising Babies and Young Children
NEW! Large Print w/Audio CDs: 8-00100-00 — $79.00
COMING SOON! Braille w/Audio CDs — $TBA
This book plus audio CDs shares helpful tips, techniques, attitudes, and preparatory experiences from successful parents who are blind and visually impaired. The parents featured in the book each completed an extensive written questionnaire and a 90-minute phone interview about how they accomplished parenting tasks using non-visual techniques.
Book Summarizes Parents’ Responses
- Decided to have children
- Prepared to become parents
- Acquired information about pregnancy and childbirth
- Fed, diapered, and kept their newborns clean
- Read to, played with, and visually stimulated their infants
- Child proofed their homes and monitored their babies
- Managed fevers, medications, and medical care
- Taught colors, print letters & numbers, and drawing
- Monitored and kept their toddlers safe indoors and outdoors
- Traveled independently with their young children
- Dealt with reactions of medical care providers, family, and the public at large
- Handled attitudes of day-care staff, preschool teachers, and their child’s friends
- Provides family and Consumer Science students with visual impairments with information pertinent to their own lives as visually-impaired parents-to-be
- Helps transition students realize that their visual impairment should not stop them from including parenthood in their future plans
- Gives teachers an accurate picture of how blind adults take care of children so that teachers can impart this positive self-image to visually impaired students
- Gives adults who have lost vision tools to continue to care for their children
- Shows medical service, psychology, social work, counseling, protective service, and legal professionals how adults with visual impairments using alternate skill sets parent their children effectively
- Corrects the negative stereotypes about parents with visual impairments, which have, even in the 21st century, resulted in a newborn’s removal from her parents solely because both parents were blind
Recommended ages: Middle School and up.
APH offers a number of recreational books in braille (Quota funds can be used). Each of these titles was originally transcribed and produced by APH for the National Library Service which has graciously granted permission for this offering. As usual, these titles have been added to the APH Louis Database where you can find thousands of titles produced in accessible formats.
Note: all books are produced upon receipt of orders, therefore, please allow several weeks for delivery.
Dead End in Norvelt
by Jack Gantos: T-N1949-00 — $77.00
In the historic town of Norvelt, Pennsylvania, twelve-year-old Jack Gantos spends the summer of 1962 grounded for various offenses until he is assigned to help an elderly neighbor with a most unusual chore involving the newly dead, molten wax, twisted promises, Girl Scout cookies, underage driving, lessons from history, typewriting, and countless bloody noses. Grades 5-9. *(AR Quiz No. 146010, BL 5.7 Pts 12.0 )
The Sea of Monsters
by Rick Riordan: T-N2024-30 — $91.00
Seventh-grader Percy, son of Poseidon and a mortal, learns that Camp Half-Blood is in danger. He and his friends undertake a perilous journey into the Sea of Monsters to save their beloved camp. Sequel to The Lightning Thief. Grades 5-9. *(AR Quiz No. 105933, BL 4.6 Pts 9.0)
A Street Cat Named Bob: And How He Saved My Life
by James Bowen: T-N2019-60 — $84.50
A London street musician and recovering drug addict recounts his 2007 discovery of an injured stray cat he named Bob, with whom he became inseparable. Describes the ways the companions have helped each other and become known around the world. Some adult content.
Vampires in the Lemon Grove and Other Stories
by Karen Russell: T-N1988-50 — $95.00
Collection of eight tales that explore magical interpretations of everyday occasions. In the title story Clyde, a vampire, reminisces about his early years as he watches over a tourist spot and befriends a lemonade vendor. Some adult content.
Mad River (A Virgil Flowers Novel)
by John Sanford: T-N1963-10 — $124.50
Tired of small-town life, teens Becky, Jimmy, and Tom attempt to steal some diamonds — and shoot a woman during the robbery. They continue their violent murder spree through rural Minnesota, with investigator Virgil Flowers and local cops in pursuit. Some adult content.
APH News Credits
Dr. Tuck Tinsley
Malcolm Turner, APH Website Coordinator
Thanks to the following APH staff:
- Janie Blome, Director, Field Services
- Scott Blome, Director, Communications
- Justin Gardner, Special Collections Librarian, Resource Services
- Michael Hudson, Director, APH Museum
- Kerry Isham, Field Services Representative
- Stephanie Lancaster, Graphic Designer, Communications
- Drew Lueken, Support Specialist, Communications
- Mary Nelle McLennan, APH Representative to Braille Authority of North America
- Artina Paris-Jones, Assistant, Field Services
- Mary Robinson, Assistant, Field Services
- Cathy Senft-Graves, Braille Literacy Project Leader, Research
- Susan Sullivan, CVI Project Leader, Research
- Monica Turner, Field Services Representative
Bob Brasher, Vice President, Advisory Services and Research
Read our blog: Fred’s Head from APH.
For additional recent APH News, click the following:
The APH News is a monthly publication from the American Printing House for the Blind:
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Louisville, KY 40206
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