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!
- Sizzlin’ Summer Savings Sale
- New Downloadable Manuals Available
- Free Update Adds Wi-Fi to Book Port Plus!
- NEW! Experiential Learning Activities for Concept Development
- NEW! Verbal View of Excel 2007
- NEW! The Best for a Nest
- MiniBook Slate with Styluses and Related Products
- APH Braille Book Corner
143rd APH Annual Meeting Update: And They’re Off…
Okay, you probably already knew we were just a little “off”—but, did you know that registration for “Running Strong Since 1858,” the 2011 Annual Meeting of Ex Officio Trustees and Special Guests, is now up and running? If you haven’t received an email from us to register, please visit www.aph.org/annual-meeting-2011/ and sign up now! You can submit your registration, make your hotel reservation, check out the agenda and more—right from our website.
Our agenda is a sure bet this year, featuring presentations from stars like keynote speaker Annette Reichman and invited guest speakers, including the Dollywood Foundation’s David Dotson, and our own (and AER’s) Lou Tutt! The product training and input sessions are sure to be odd-on favorites, and the poster sessions are always a winning ticket. You’ll want to be right on the finish line on Saturday morning, when we give away exciting door prizes in our final general session. We will be offering win, place, AND show prizes this year, and you have to be in attendance to win!
Saturday night’s dinner cruise and dance on the Spirit of Jefferson will be the perfect way to wind down your weekend, so we hope you’ll plan to join us there.
Migel Library Discard Book Sale – Friday October 14th
2:30 to 4:00 pm at the APH Annual Meeting Information Fair
The Migel Library, obtained in 2009 from the American Foundation for the Blind, included a great variety of duplicate copies. APH transferred thousands of duplicates to other libraries including the Hayes Library in Watertown, MA and the Jacobus tenBroek Library in Baltimore. Now – those remaining duplicates must go to clear space for new additions.
Your Input WILL Make a Difference!
Please complete the very BRIEF APH 2011 Satisfaction Survey!
As many of you know, each year the U.S. Department of Education seeks input from YOU on the effectiveness of products and services provided through the Federal Quota Program, which is administered by the American Printing House for the Blind (APH). This year, we have added an item that will assist APH staff in our current strategic planning.
The 2011 survey is now available on the APH website, and you are encouraged to respond based on your experience with products provided through Federal Quota funds.
Your honest input does make a difference! Survey response deadline: September 15, 2011. All responses will remain confidential.
New Presentations: APH Webcast Training Series
This summer we have been busy putting together webcast training presentations that you can view at your convenience. This month’s products include:
- The Light Box and Sense of Science Series
- The Digital Light Box Artwork
- And 4 step-by-step tutorials on how to get started using the new software APH Talking PC Maps: “Introduction”, “Getting Started”, “Exploration” and “More Exploration”
These webcast training presentations, as well as older recorded presentations, may be found in our webcast archive page at: www.aph.org/webcast
Unforgettable APH Video Stars: The Results of APH’s First Video Contest are In!
Our Winners: The Color Changers
The deadline to submit videos for this summer’s contest was July 7, 2011, and we now have the winners.
The winners of the first prize of $150 are two students from Vanceburg, Kentucky, and their teacher. Josh Rister, Brandon Rister, and Traci Evans submitted a fun and creative video under the screen name “The Color Changers”. Their video shows how these students and their teacher ingeniously use one of APH’s best selling products, a color identifier called The Color Test.
The second prize of $75, and third prize of $50, went, respectively, to two of the three different groups of students from the South Carolina School for the Deaf and the Blind who recorded their videos as part of their summer camp experience. These three groups of young students show how to use the Book Port Plus built-in digital recorder.
Because we only received four videos this summer, we decided not to have a random drawing for three $25.00 gift certificates from Amazon.com, but will give each one of these awesome video teams their own $25.00 certificate. This way, everyone is a winner this summer!
To meet these Unforgettable Stars, go to our video contest page at: www.aph.org/contest
Remember — you could be APH’s next video star, so grab your camcorder and start shooting!! The deadline to submit your video for the next contest is February 13th, 2012. For more information and guidelines go to the Unforgettable APH Star contest page at the above link.
All About APH Webcast
On Wednesday, August 10, Dr. Tuck Tinsley and Bob Brasher talked a lot about APH. Although that’s not so unusual in itself, this opportunity came about through the Hadley Seminar program. Tuck and Bob were webcasting a session called All About APH. For an hour they shared information about the company and fielded questions from listeners. They wish to thank the Hadley School for the Blind and their gracious moderator, Billy Brookshire, for making this such an easy and enjoyable experience. Also making it easy was APH’s Maria Delgado, a veteran of over 100 webcasts, who controlled the technology at APH.
Here are the links to the program:
Tell Us What You Need and Want—Give APH Your Input
Multiple Disabilities Product Needs
In 2001, the American Printing House for the Blind hosted a multiple disabilities focus group and conducted its first online survey to identify product needs for individuals who have visual and multiple impairments. The results of that survey guided APH over the last 10 years in the development of products for the visually impaired and multiply disabled population. This year APH hosted two multiple disabilities focus groups: Birth to Grade 12 in March and Adult in June. Each group helped create a product needs survey. APH invites you to take the survey that addresses the specific population with whom you work or parent, or the group of which you are a member. The survey links will be available until October 1, 2011.
Field Test Opportunity for Learners who have Visual and Motor Impairments!
Attention Science Teachers!
Field testers are needed to evaluate the prototype of a new DNA & RNA model with their visually impaired high school students!
The model demonstrates
- Double-stranded DNA
- DNA replication
- Transcription of DNA to mRNA
Prototypes are available for field testing and will be sent out in late September or early October 2011. Evaluations must be returned by December 2011.
If you are interested in field testing AND you have one or more high school students with whom you can use this prototype, please tell me your
- School/Agency address with zip code
- The best phone number(s) to reach you
- Email address
- Educational level of your student(s)
BANA Authors Three-part Article on the Evolution of Braille
The Braille Authority of North America (BANA) is authoring a three-part article on the evolution of braille. The first part was released this summer, and part two will be published in October. In the initial piece, which is posted on the BANA website, BANA focuses on the changing nature of communication methods used by braille readers. It also looks at other relevant transitions, such as how blind children are educated, the range of available technologies, and the evolution of braille and print.
Part One of “The Evolution of Braille: Can the Past Help Plan the Future?” can be found at: www.brailleauthority.org/article/evolution_of_braille-part1.pdf. BANA will announce the publication of the other two segments of the article through press releases and email announcements.
You can follow the work of BANA by signing up for BANA-Announce, a one-way email list that disseminates news and information. To join this list, send a blank email message to firstname.lastname@example.org and follow the directions in the confirmation email that will be sent in response. You can also follow BANA on Facebook and Twitter!
For additional information and resources, visit www.brailleauthority.org.
From the Field: TVIs Needed for AT Study!
Researchers from Texas Tech University and Missouri State University are surveying TVIs to determine what assistive technology competencies they possess. If you are a certified TVI, please consider completing the online survey at http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/tvitechnology by October 31st! All participants who complete the survey will be entered into a drawing to win one of many wonderful AT prizes. See the survey for more information.
From the Field: Webinar Opportunity – The Professional’s Role in Career Preparation for Youth and Adults with Visual Impairments
Presenter: Dr. Karen Wolffe
Sponsor: AER PsychoSocial Division
Date/Time: September 14, 2011, at 2:00 p.m. ET
Have you administered the Braille adaptation of The Woodcock-Johnson III Tests of Achievement? If yes, we need your help!
APH is continuing to collaborate with Dr. Jane Erin of the University of Arizona to gather data about student performance on the Woodcock-Johnson Tests of Achievement—braille. This information will provide a better understanding of the learning patterns of blind students. To do this well, we need to gather a large number of scores from students who have taken the test in braille. No Institutional Review Board permissions are necessary since the scores are submitted anonymously.
Oldies but Goodies: The "Established" APH Product Series
Listen and Think Auditory Readiness (AR) Level
Listen and Think Level C
Listen and Think is a classic product to develop and improve listening comprehension and thinking skills. Listen and Think was originally released in print in 1968 and was adapted by Eleanor Pester and first sold by APH around 1987. In 2009 the listening materials began being produced in CD format when the audiocassette editions were discontinued.
Listen and Think Auditory Readiness (AR) Level (5-7 years) includes 15 lessons and covers basic listening skills such as understanding positional placement (e.g., up, down, behind, between, beside, etc.), comparing, classifying, cause and effect, sequencing, and predicting outcomes. The AR level includes an introduction and lessons on CDs, a print teacher’s handbook, simple multiple-choice answer sheets, and crayons.
Advanced levels Listen and Think Level B (7-8 years) and Listen and Think Level C (8-9 years) introduce such concepts as main ideas, summarizing, outlining, and comparing. Level B and C each include introductory material and lessons on CDs, a print teacher’s handbook, braille and large print multiple-choice answer sheets, braille and large print progress charts, crayons and marking pins.
Each lesson presents a recorded passage to the student which introduces various concepts. At the end of each passage are recorded questions that the student can answer using the provided crayons and simplified answer sheet. The correct answers and necessary explanations are provided on the recording as well so that these lessons can be completed independently, in small groupings, or with the entire class, providing flexibility for the teacher. Within the Teacher’s Handbook are additional questions and activities that can be used for follow-up reinforcement and to further extend the concepts presented to the curriculum areas of Language Arts, Social Studies, Science, and Music.
Sizzling in the Lone Star State
Participants used vision simulators to complete activities during the training
Professionals from Region 4 Education Service Center Receive Training on Functional Vision & Learning Media Assessment Tool
Thirty teachers of the blind, orientation and mobility specialists, and administrators participated in a two-day training hosted by the Region 4 Educational Service Center in Houston, TX, August 10-11. Cathy Johnson, APH Field Services Representative, led participants through an in-depth and hands-on approach of the FVLMA Practitioner’s Guide, including the protocols, report form, and the Expanded Core Curriculum Screening Record. The workshop included familiarization with the components of the FVLMA materials, along with several APH products and other resources for participants to conduct functional vision and learning media assessments for their students. Region 4 Educational Specialist, Cecilia Robinson, reported “Teachers enjoyed the training, as indicated by their participation and attention. The product will help our teachers and orientation and mobility specialists collect data over time, which I think is critical in the students’ education.”
APH Magazine Service—From Cassettes to Flash Cartridges
APH has provided free accessible editions of Reader’s Digest® (braille since 1928 and recorded since 1939) and Newsweek® (recorded since 1959) to thousands of eligible readers who are blind or visually impaired. Private donations are the backbone of this valuable service.
We will soon be facing a real but solvable problem: cassettes and recording tape will soon be gone, worldwide. We are already facing quality and supply problems. Our best option for replacing the cassettes is flash cartridges. Unfortunately, they cost over fifteen times what a cassette does and we will have many cartridges in circulation.
Accessibility of Museums!
The Museum of the American Printing House for the Blind wants to encourage local, regional, and national conversation about accessibility of American museums for visitors with severe vision loss. The APH Museum piloted an initial workshop at the 2011 meeting of the Kentucky Museum and Heritage Alliance in Maysville in June. The session, moderated by museum director Mike Hudson, brought together three blind Kentuckians and matched them with museum leaders in a roundtable discussion.
Our Guidelines for Print Document Design Have Been Updated!
In an ongoing effort to share information about best practices for designing accessible media, we have updated our APH guidelines for creating print and large print materials. The revisions were based on extensive research and feedback from low vision readers.
“APH Guidelines for Print Document Design” was created by APH Low Vision Project Leader Elaine Kitchel, who has years of experience designing products for low vision users.
A few of the many revisions to the these guidelines include:
- Improved specifications for maps, charts, graphs, and graphics to make them as readable and usable as the surrounding large print.
- Application of colors or fills preferred by low vision and color-blind readers where necessary to improve recognition and decoding.
- Implementation of alternating color bands to facilitate comprehension of text-dense documents such as a table of contents.
You can find our revised print document guidelines, as well as best practices for accessible media such as braille, tactile graphics, and assessments on our Accessible Media Guidelines page.
"Like" APH at Our Facebook Page!
APH Welcomes New Ex Officio Trustees
Craig Meador, the Washington State Department of Public Instruction, accounts #216 and #217, replacing Mary “Dee” Amundsen.
Barbara Engelbrecht, the Wyoming Department of Education, accounts #226 and #227, replacing Leslie Bechtel Van Orman.
Kim Stiles, the New Hampshire State Department of Education, accounts #130 and #131, replacing Evelyn Kelso.
Martin Monson, the Tennessee School for the Blind, account #188, replacing James Oldham.
Carolyn Laseter, the Utah Schools for the Deaf and the Blind, account #200, replacing Melanie Austin.
Carmen Grove Suminski, the North Dakota School for the Blind, account #154, replacing Cheryl Misialek. Carmen is also EOT for accounts #155 and #156.
Christine Boone, the Michigan Commission f/t Blind Training Center, account #104, replacing Cheryl Heibeck.
APH Travel Calendar
September 9, 2011
NIP Event – Adaptive PE;
September 9-10, 2011
TN (Tennessee) AER;
Montgomery Bell State Park, Burns, TN
September 21-24, 2011
Hilton St. Louis at the Ballpark in St. Louis, MO
September 25, 2011
Indiana Vision Expo;
Indianapolis, IN, Main Library
October 1, 2011
NIP Event-Adaptive PE;
Cedar Rapids, IA
October 13-15, 2011
APH Annual Meeting;
Galt House in Louisville, KY
October 19-21, 2011
Northern Rockies AER 2011;
Sun Valley, ID
October 29-30, 2011
Braille Plus Hands-on Training for The Dominican College and VI Teachers;
November 3-5, 2011
Renaissance Schaumburg Hotel & Convention Center in Schaumburg, IL
November 10, 2011
West Virginia School for the Blind Conference;
November 30-December 2, 2011
North Carolina Assistive Technology Expo-20th Annual (NC AT Expo 2011) at the North Raleigh Hilton;
December 7-10, 2011
Getting In Touch With Literacy Conference 2011;
Sizzlin’ Summer Savings Sale
Load up a world of savings on selected APH products with APH’s Sizzlin’ Summer Savings Sale 2011, July 1—September 30. 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:
- ENVISION I, Teacher’s Instruction Manual, Print, 10 and Younger (7-08551-01)
- ENVISION I, Teacher’s Instruction Manual, Print, 11 and Older (7-08551-02)
- ENVISION II, Teacher’s Instruction Manual, Print, 10 and Younger (7-08552-01)
- ENVISION II, Teacher’s Instruction Manual, Print, 11 and Older (7-08552-02)
- Reach for the Stars: Transition Planning Pages only, Large Print (7-08411-00)
- Tactile Connections: Guidebook, Large Print (7-08837-00)
- Tactile Graphics Kit: Guidebook, Large Print (7-08851-00)
Free Update Adds Wi-Fi to Book Port Plus!
Version 5 of APH’s Book Port Plus (1-07191-00–$329.00) firmware is now available and introduces many new features, including activation of the Wi-Fi chip! Although every Book Port Plus contains a Wi-Fi chip, the software to use that chip was not complete. Now with this free update, your Book Port Plus will have the ability to stream internet radio stations, receive podcasts, and transfer files from the PC to the Book Port wirelessly. This update is free to all Book Port Plus users.
This firmware update also contains many other enhancements and fixes. You can find more information about this update and download the new firmware from this page: http://tech.aph.org/bt_new.htm
NEW! Experiential Learning Activities for Concept Development
8-50705-00 — $12.00
Activities in this guidebook are designed to help children learn through experience in a meaningful and fun way.
Six developmental areas are addressed: cause and effect, hand-eye coordination (auditory-hand coordination), motor development, object permanence, sensory awareness, and spatial awareness. These are not the only areas where children can learn through experience. These concepts and skills, however, are six of the primary areas that need to be promoted in infants and young children with visual impairments.
Each section of Experiential Learning contains a brief overview of the skill or concept being addressed. This overview is followed by three suggested activities: a beginning, intermediate, and more advanced activity for each area.
User provides toys:
The service provider or parent must provide the toys and other materials to be used in each activity. These items should be preferred by and appropriate for the specific child. Such items include toys that produce sound, a mobile or play gym, and objects that can be suspended from the mobile or play gym. A list of suggested materials/items suitable for the activities are provided in the back of the guidebook.
Recommended ages: while this product is designed for children ages birth to 3, who are blind and visually impaired, the activities are also appropriate for children of any age working on the aforementioned six developmental areas.
The included CD-ROM disc contains .brl and .html accessible formats of the guidebook.
NEW! Verbal View of Excel 2007
D-10520-00 — $50.00
A comprehensive tutorial designed to teach the basic features of Microsoft Excel 2007.
Verbal View from APH is a series of comprehensive tutorials covering a variety of computer software topics. This series is specifically designed for students and professionals who are visually impaired and blind.
Delivered on CD-ROM, this tutorial comes in DAISY 3.0 format with its own presentation software. This CD also contains Microsoft Excel 2007, html, contracted braille, and text versions of the document so you may send it to a portable device like the Braille+ Mobile Manager or other note taker with a refreshable braille display.
NEW! The Best for a Nest
5-12301-00 — $75.00
The Best for a Nest is an interactive storybook that provides an opportunity for the learner to focus on many concepts: position of objects, prepositional phrases, and use of tactile symbols
Included with the book is a hook/loop material storyboard and a group of manipulatives: birds, nest, eggs, tree, branches, grass, and a cat. The manipulatives are tactile symbols that are designed to assist the child in better understanding the text on each page of the book.
Basic Concepts Can Be Explored
- Counting — the number of branches, eggs, birds, nest, and cat
- Left and Right — as related to the tree, its branches, and positions of the bird(s), and cat
- Comparisons — of lengths of branches and sizes of birds
- Top and Bottom — of the tree and the page
- Around — the tree
The Concepts Can Be Extended
- Go outside and explore different trees and their branches with your child
- Visit a pet shop and have him/her hold a bird
- Find a bird nest and let the child play with it
- Compare different eggs of birds and chickens with him/her
Topics for Discussion
- Why do birds sit on their eggs?
- Where do birds go when winter comes?
- What are the seasons of the year (sequence) and their difference?
- Why did the bird want to be safe from the cat?
- What kind of food did the bird find on the ground?
WARNING: CHOKING HAZARD — Small parts. Not intended for children ages 5 and under without adult supervision.
MiniBook Slate with Styluses and Related Products
MiniBook Slate with Styluses
Mini Spiral Notebook
Six Ring Binder for MiniBook
APH’s MiniBook products give braille users the ability to get materials out and ready to write as quickly as their sighted peers. Pull the MiniBook braille binder or spiral notebook out of your pocket and begin to write on the MiniSlate in just a few seconds!
A few things that you can do with MiniBook materials are:
- Use your Mini Binder for material that changes; you can easily remove, rearrange, and replace pages. You can also save sets of pages and re-insert them in the binder when you need them.
- Arrange appointment dates in your Mini Binder and insert pages when you make new appointments.
- Keep a Mini Spiral Notebook, Slate, and Stylus by the phone to jot down quick messages.
- Use one Mini Spiral for each purpose: for example, one for your to-do list, and another for names and phone numbers.
APH MiniBook materials are sold separately so that you can choose the combination that’s right for you:
- MiniBook Slate with Styluses: This tiny slate has four lines, 15 cells per line. The cells have side indentations, making it easy to find the dot you want to make. It comes with three styluses: saddle, tall flat, and short flat. Choose the one that fits your hand most comfortably.
- Six-Ring Binder for MiniBook: This tiny six-ring binder comes with a pack of 250 sheets of punched filler paper. It fits into a pants or shirt pocket. Keep the slate fastened to the first blank page, keep a stylus in the binder’s back pocket, and be ready to write in an instant. You can open the rings to rearrange pages or add new ones. The binder will hold up to 50 pages of braille.
- Filler Paper for MiniBook: Additional packs of filler paper can be purchased for the binder.
- Mini Spiral Notebook (2 pk): Even smaller than the binder, the Mini Spiral Notebook includes 50 pages perforated for easy removal. Fasten the slate to the first blank page, then when you pull the notebook out of your pocket, you’re ready to write!
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.
Annie and Snowball and the Pink Surprise: The Fourth Book Of Their Adventures
by Cynthia Rylant: T-N1831-00 — $9.00
After noticing that a visiting hummingbird likes her pink petunias, Annie and her rabbit Snowball, with help from neighbor Henry and his dog Mudge, fill Annie’s garden with pink things to attract more hummingbirds. Four short chapters. Grades K-3. *(AR Quiz #126506, BL 2.3, Pts. 0.5)
UP CLOSE: W.E.B. Dubois A Twentieth-Century Life
by Tonya Bolden: T-N1831-80 — $46.50
Biography of African American activist, poet, and scholar William Edward Burghardt Du Bois (1868-1963). Discusses his earning a PhD from Harvard University and his commitment to racial equality, justice, and world peace in the context of segregation, the Jim Crow laws, and two world wars. Grades 6-9. *(AR Quix #127762 BL 8.2, Pts. 5.0)
by Jonathan Friesen: T-N1837-90 — $68.50
Isolated at school and tormented by his stepdad, Minnesota high school senior Sam Carrier feels defined by his Tourette syndrome. But long-distance running, his deceased father’s friend George, a girl named Naomi, and a road trip to Jerk, California, change his perspective. Some strong language. For senior high readers. *(AR Quiz #126100, BL 3.3, Pts. 9.0)
Among the Mad: A Maisie Dobbs Novel
by Jacqueline Winspear: T-N1837-40 — $83.00
London, 1931. Investigator and psychologist Maisie Dobbs witnesses the suicide of a war veteran-turned-beggar on Christmas Eve. The next day the prime minister receives a menacing letter that demands relief for the poor and unemployed–and that mentions Maisie by name. Maisie joins Scotland Yard in its investigation.
Smart Girls Think Twice
by Cathie Linz: T-N1833-90 — $68.00
In this sequel to Big Girls Don’t Cry (BR 17720), sociologist Emma Riley returns to Rock Creek, Pennsylvania, to attend her sisters’ weddings and to conduct research on her hometown’s new popularity. When she attempts to interview extreme athlete Jake Slayter, a newcomer, sparks fly. Strong Language, mature content. Adult Reader.
APH News Credits
Dr. Tuck Tinsley
Malcolm Turner, APH Website Coordinator
Thanks to the following APH staff:
- Cindy Amback, Support Specialist, Field Services
- Kristin Binkowski, Director, Planned Giving
- Janie Blome, Director, Field Services
- Scott Blome, Director, Communications
- Maria Delgado, Field Services Representative
- Kerry Isham, Field Services Representative
- Rosanne Hoffman, STEM Project Leader, Research
- Micheal Hudson, Director, APH Museum
- Cathy Johnson, Field Services Representative
- Stephanie Lancaster, Graphic Designer, Communications
- Drew Lueken, Support Specialist, Communications
- Mary Nelle McLennan, Executive Advisor to the President
- Artina Paris-Jones, Assistant, Field Services
- Tristan Pierce, Multiple Disabilities Project Leader, Research
- Jane Thompson, Director, Accessible Textbooks
- Monica Turner, Field Services Representative
- Debbie Willis, Director, Accessible Tests
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:
1839 Frankfort Avenue
Louisville, KY 40206
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