Don’t Miss a Single Issue!
APH News: September 2017
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!
- NEW! MATT Connect: Smart Tablet-Based Magnifier
- Get Smart Just in Time for Back to School
- NEW! Paint by Number Safari: Tropical Rainforest – UEB
- NEW! EZ Track Calendar, 2018
- Order Fall 2017 Textbooks Now!
- New Downloadable Manuals Available
- APH Sizzlin’ Summer Savings Sale
- APH Braille Book Corner
Back to School
EOTs and APH Supporters,
We are in that exciting time of year marked by school buses and new shoes, and at APH, we’ve spent the summer innovating and getting things ready for students and adults across the nation. Books have been brailled, tactile diagrams created, products released, and ducks placed in a row.
We are also paying close attention to quota funds and notice that many of you have money to spend. With last spring’s late release of funding, purchases were postponed and priorities shifted. In the coming weeks you can expect frequent communications helping you spend your funds and learning about new opportunities for your students and clients through products and services. I hope to see many of you at next month’s Annual Meeting in beautiful Louisville, Kentucky, and I wish you and those you support a year of positive growth.
Join Us for "A Daring Adventure" – APH Annual Meeting 2017
Helen Keller once said, “Life is either a daring adventure or nothing. To keep our faces toward change and behave like free spirits in the presence of fate is strength undefeatable.”
Dare to join APH as we embrace the adventure that is the future: Dare to participate in round table discussions of topics vital to our field! Dare to get hands-on with APH products and provide feedback about products in development! Dare to hear our inspirational keynote speaker! Join us for the 149th Annual Meeting of Ex Officio Trustees and Special Guests, October 12-14, 2017, Hyatt Regency downtown, Louisville, Kentucky. The 2017 Annual Meeting agenda is posted online for your review.
ACVREP Credit! New this year: ACVREP credit will be available for interested Annual Meeting attendees.
Make Your Room Reservations NOW! – Beat the Ironmen to the Hotel!
We will be sharing the Louisville Hyatt Regency with competitors in the Louisville Iron Man again this year, so if you don’t want the adventure of trying to find a hotel room in downtown Louisville in October, please make your reservations NOW! APH has special conference rates of $157 per night for a single or double room, $167 per night for a triple room, and $177 per night for a quad room. These rates are available October 10–15, and you can make reservations using the following link:
Annual Meeting Saturday Night Event:
Tour the Historic, Hallowed (Haunted?) Halls of APH — an Adventure Not to Be Missed!
In the fall of 1979, a group of German parapsychologists came to Louisville to study a series of strange phenomena that had rocked the city. Using advanced electronic equipment and the services of a pair of maintenance men from the Louisville City Water District, the team entered the city’s underground labyrinth of sewers to try to pinpoint the center of the disturbances. Although ground interference made communications difficult, their command post received word that the team had reached a nexus in the sewer system directly beneath 1839 Frankfort Avenue before all contact was lost. The team was never heard from again. Today, a new effort is being launched to explore what has not been written about as “probably not the most haunted building in America.”
On Saturday evening, October 14, immediately following the APH Annual Meeting, small teams will form to comb through the basements (did you know there was more than one?) of the building at 1839 Frankfort, occupied by the American Printing House for the Blind, searching for answers. What happened to the German team, and will these new teams get out alive? Will it be an adventure…or a nightmare?
Our 2017 Annual Meeting Keynote Speaker
Jack Levine, founder of the 4Generations Institute, will present the keynote address at this year’s Annual Meeting.
After a 25-year tenure as president of Voices for Florida’s Children, a statewide advocacy network, Levine founded 4Generations Institute to promote intergenerational policies and innovative programs that benefit the young, their parents, and more experienced family members…also known as grandparents! Levine promises a keynote that will be a “positive, emotional and inspiring address…with some humor and a sprinkling of tears.”
NEW! MATT Connect: Smart Tablet-Based Magnifier
1-03941-00 — $2,995.00 + shipping
SHIPPING CHARGE: All shipments will incur actual UPS shipping rates based on the destination.
MATT Connect unit IS available with Quota funds!
Distance Camera: 45-003-011 — $395.00
Camera Battery: 45-003-012 — $75.00
Power Supply Cable: 45-003-013 — $10.00
Tablet Power Supply Cable: 45-003-015 — $18.00
Transportation Bag: 45-003-014 — $50.00
Replacement Items ARE available with Quota funds.
Optional Item (not available with Quota funds)
Extended Care Plan from HumanWare, please contact HumanWare within 30 days of purchase: 800-722-3393 or www.humanware.com
Repairs (not available with Quota funds)
Special Offer, Order MATT Connect by September 29!
APH and HumanWare are pleased to announce a special offer for all customers who purchase a MATT Connect from APH between now and September 29, 2017. Our partnership agreement allows HumanWare to include an Extended Care Plan, a $300 value, at no extra charge for this limited time! The Extended Care Plan increases the included one-year warranty by an additional year. Protect your investment at no extra charge: order now to receive this special offer! Expires Friday, September 29th.
The MATT Connect is a magnifier, distance viewer, and an educational tablet with pre-loaded software – all in one device! MATT Connect is an APH/HumanWare partner product.
With MATT Connect, Students Can:
- Magnify a print document
- Read a book from an online library
- Conduct internet research
- View a distant or connected smartboard in a classroom
- Write and email assignments
- Take a test
- Much more!
MATT Connect (Magnifier And Tablet Together) is a learning hub for students with low vision. A few of the many features include:
- Lightweight, sturdy, and extremely portable
- 12-inch full HD touchscreen, removable from the stand
- Live HD 1-24x magnification with intelligent LED illumination
- Capture and save single or multiple pages, providing accurate OCR with 1-80x magnification
- Audio reading option for dual-modal learning
- Diamond Edge fonts with perfect clarity
- Powerful wireless camera for distance viewing, up to 40 magnification
- Pre-installed: APH educational app Nearby Explorer™ Online (with additional APH apps coming in the future), Google Suite apps, Dropbox, a book reader with access to libraries such as Bookshare® (subscription may be required), and many more
- Open Android™ platform provides access to 1,500,000 additional apps Smart Tablet-Based Magnifier
- MATT Connect unit
- USB Cable
- Power Supply Cable
- Anti-glare sheet
- Transportation Bag
- Quick Start Guide, Large Print
- User Guide, Large Print
- One-year limited warranty
- Camera for Distance Viewing
- USB Cable
- Power Supply Cable
- Wrist Strap
- Camera Stick
- Quick-Start Guide, Large Print
- User Manual, Large Print
- One-year limited warranty
- Service Card
- Folding Stand
- Protective Carrying Case
Get Smart Just in Time for Back to School
NEW! As of September 5, 2017, APH began shipping SMART Braillers with updated software that makes Unified English Braille (UEB) available in the Language Settings! To change to UEB, choose "English-U.E.B."
Any SMART Braillers you already have can be updated with this latest free software. Download the instructions and latest software to update your SMART Brailler.
Worried about your braille learner’s progress while you’re not around?
The APH SMART Brailler by Perkins is an updated Perkins Brailler that displays, vocalizes, and produces embossed braille based on what a student types. With the built-in app “Building on Patterns: Kindergarten,” early braille students can have continual access and opportunity to practice braille outside of traditional braille lesson plans with TVIs. Additionally, classroom teachers, paraprofessionals, parents, and peers who may not know braille can engage with children through the visual and audio output features.
Why do teachers value the SMART Brailler?
Motivates and Accelerates Learning: Provides immediate multi-sensory feedback (tactile, audio, and visual), helping students increase their brailling speed and accuracy and making learning fun.
Lightens the Load: Weighs 20 percent less than the classic Perkins Brailler, making it easy to transport between classrooms.
Integrates with Mainstream Technology: Saves translated braille documents as digital text files which can be transferred via USB, letting teachers or parents read the document on a computer.
Involves Non-Braille Users: Enables better collaboration between students and sighted teachers or parents using Roman letters on the display screen to mirror what is being brailled.
Reliable Support: One-year warranty and repair service tracked by APH Customer Service, ensuring that any problem with your product is resolved without delay.
NEW! Paint by Number Safari: Tropical Rainforest – UEB
1-03934-00 — $39.00
Paint Pot Pallet: 1-03933-00 — $53.00
Learn about art, nature, and real world colors with Paint by Number Safari coloring series!
Tropical Rainforest is the first of the Paint by Number Safari™ Series. Paint by Number Safari includes a set of custom-made drawings of real-world subjects that are printed and embossed on heavy paper. The embossed lines make it easy to trace the subjects with your fingers and then follow with a crayon, colored pencil, or paintbrush; this makes it easier for beginning and intermediate artists to learn and improve their skills.
The wide, solid, embossed lines identify the animal and the thin embossed lines depict color separation on the animal’s body. The dashed lines identify background images such as leaves, branches, and flowers. Solid raised areas identify parts of the images that are too small to fill with color, such as small bugs and small body parts.
Perfect for use with watercolor paints, colored pencils, or crayons, each image includes a specific color code at the end of its "Fun Facts." Use with APH’s Paint Pot Palette!
Paint by Number Safari Features
- teaches color concepts with an emphasis on real-world colors
- encourages visual and tactile exploration
- teaches shape recognition
- develops fine motor skills
- encourages social engagement
- teaches fun facts about amazing creatures
- 10 raised-line art images with braille
- Fun Facts about every subject, print and braille
- Color guide
Recommended ages: 6 years and up.
NEW! EZ Track Calendar, 2018: A Low Vision Appointment Book and Calendar with Binder
EZ Track Calendar, 2018: with Binder: 1-07900-18 — $59.00
EZ Track Calendar, 2018: Insert Pages Only: 1-07901-18 — $54.00
EZ Track is a multi-faceted line of low vision products to help you get organized…and stay that way!
Designed for people with low vision, EZ Track products utilize large print of at least 18 points, easy-to-use binder formatting, and special accessories as aids in organizing important day-to-day activities. There are four products in the EZ Track series: Address Book, Calendar, Financial Record Keeper, and Medical Record Keeper.
This calendar offers a systematic and organized way of keeping track of appointments, holidays, and other events.
Each large print page holds four days, with enough room to write notes and appointments. The calendar comes with a three-ring binder.
Order Fall 2017 Textbooks Now!
Help us help YOU receive your textbooks on time! Place your textbook orders as early as possible. We currently have the capacity to take on plenty of orders. If your Quota funds are running low, don’t worry. We will work with you to make sure the order gets placed, regardless of your Quota fund balance.
A "Handy List" to Help You Make Quota Purchases
We are now entering a fresh new school year, and quickly approaching the deadline for Quota spending: Friday, September 29.
One tool you can use to make purchasing decisions is APH’s Handy List of all new APH products released in the last two years. This list includes kits, manuals, parts, and more. Almost all of these products are available for Quota purchase. We will be sending out additional suggested purchase lists in the coming weeks. Happy shopping!
Field Tests and Surveys
Testers Wanted for Graphing Kit
The Math Homework Kit, under development, provides tools to help students who are blind or visually impaired make graphs related to their school work. The kit contains adhesive-backed consumable items that allow learners to make their own charts, diagrams, or graphs on paper, turn them in to a teacher for grading, and keep them for later review. The kit can also be used in class by the student or teacher for on-the-spot illustrations.
Because the materials are applied on top of the paper, the difficulty of embossing from the reverse side is eliminated. Items are provided with contrasting textures and colors so the results will be accessible to tactile, low-vision, and sighted readers.
Field evaluation of the Math Homework Kit will begin in late September or October 2017. APH is looking for teachers/sites where students are making their own diagrams or graphs to demonstrate their math understanding; any grade level and content is acceptable. If you are available during this time and would like to be considered for evaluating the kit, please use the following link and provide the information requested.
Field Test Opportunity for Practice2Master Fractions
APH is seeking field evaluators for Practice2Master Fractions, an iOS app designed to help students practice fraction calculations. Among its many features, this app allows students to do the following:
- Perform free practice in fraction addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division and get assistance from the app when needed.
- Take part in practice drills on fraction calculations and save drill reports for future reference.
- Choose from preloaded problems, randomly generated problems, and user-created problems for practice and drills.
This app supports iPad, iPhone, and iPod Touch running iOS 8.0 and above. Field testing is expected to take place in the fall of 2017. If you are interested in testing this app, please provide your information in the following survey: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/DXX22WR
APH’s Websites: We Want Your Feedback on Accessibility!
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. In most cases, we will continue to package hard copies of these manuals with their products and sell hard copy replacements.
Newly added manuals include:
- Spangle Tangle: Play and Explore
- Games for People with Sensory Impairments
APH Sizzlin’ Summer Savings Sale
Load up a world of savings on selected APH products with APH’s Sizzlin’ Summer Savings Sale 2017, July 1—September 30. As always, first come, first served.
Historic Moment at APH—People Who Are Blind View Eclipse in Real Time
August 21, 2017 was a very exciting day for our country as millions watched the total eclipse that crossed from the west coast to the east. APH staff, along with teachers and students from the Kentucky School for the Blind, gathered on our front lawn in Louisville to witness this remarkable celestial event.
But at APH, the eclipse was almost eclipsed by another historic moment – for the first time in history, people who are blind were able to see the eclipse in real time by touching rapidly changing images on the Graphiti, a multilevel tactile touch display being developed by Orbit Research and APH. A still camera shooting the eclipse was attached to the Graphiti, and every 60 seconds images were fed to this remarkable new device as pins on its surface changed to reflect the position of the moon crossing in front of the sun. A steady stream of students and adult staff at APH who are blind took turns watching the eclipse with their hands, hardly believing that they could see the eclipse as it happened. Touching the sun, in real time, was a thrill for everyone.
“No one was sitting on the sidelines today,” said APH President Craig Meador. “Learning equality is not just about providing the same information that people who are sighted have. It’s about providing the same social, historical, and other experiences that everyone else is enjoying.”
The prototype Graphiti used during the eclipse viewing is currently the only one in existence, but APH hopes to have them ready for sale next year. APH Technology Products Research Director Larry Skutchan said, “We are excited to see how Graphiti will be used in science classrooms, business workplaces, museums… The possibilities are endless.”
Staff produced a brief video of this historic event at APH (see below), and as news spread, 239 media outlets around the world picked up the story. Articles and news reports appeared throughout the U.S. and in the United Kingdom, India, France, Norway, Canada, Mexico, Brazil, South Africa, Nigeria, Spain, Germany, Poland, Sweden, Russia, Pakistan, and Australia.
August 21, 2017. Truly a date for the history books.
Prison Braille Forum to be Held
National Prison Braille Forum on October 11 offers an opportunity to share expertise and learn from the best.
Planning for the 2017 National Prison Braille Forum is well underway, and over 30 vision and corrections professionals have already registered. The Forum will be held in conjunction with APH’s Annual Meeting, October 12-14.
At the 17th annual Forum on October 11 in Louisville, participants from across the country will identify best practices and innovations in prison braille programs in three key areas: Building the Business; Essential Ingredients; and Transition and Reentry. Representatives from programs that have operated for as many as 55 years will mentor those currently in the process of starting new programs as they set goals, establish partnerships, and hire inmates to learn and transcribe braille.
Operating a braille production business behind prison walls can be challenging, and the experience that long-time members of the National Prison Braille Network bring to the Forum will guide us as we identify what strategies work best, what equipment is needed, and which partnerships are critical for success. An update about BTAP (Braille Transcriber Apprentice Program), the program that assists transcribers as they transition back into society, will be given. Also, a tour of KCI (Kentucky Correctional Industries) Braille Services will be offered on October 12 for Forum participants who register in advance.
Braille Badges Contest Begins!
It’s here! It’s time to get your entries in for the Braille Badges Contest.
What will you be designing? Are you creating a new character or are you creating some cool typography that animates its emotions? Teachers, we hope you have been spreading the word about the contest. This contest is designed for student artists who are blind and visually impaired. Students in pre-K through high school level may participate.
APH launched Braille Badges stickers for iOS iMessage in November, 2016. They are available for FREE download on the App Store.
Remember, first place winners will receive one of the following APH products: Nearby Explorer app, DRAFTSMAN, Web Chase, Interactive U.S. Map with Talking Tactile Pen, or Picture Maker and Game Kit. Second and third place winners will receive a certificate and a $50 or $25 voucher good toward APH products. All contestants will have their submission created and added to the Braille Badges archive for download.
Good luck to all our contestants!
APH Welcomes New Ex Officio Trustees
- Jon Harding, the Kansas State School for the Blind
- Bridget Humphries, the District of Columbia Public Schools
- Mary Fleck, the Dallas Lighthouse for the Blind
APH on the Road
Presentations in Newton, MA
Twenty individuals attended the Massachusetts AIM Library STEM Training in Newton, MA in early August. Kerry Isham, Field Services Representative, and William Freeman, Software Quality Assurance Analyst, led this two-day event for TVIs from throughout the Commonwealth. Kerry’s presentations covered math, science, and technology products and apps, including activity stations and other opportunities for direct experience with products. William held a workshop on BrailleBlaster, the revolutionary new translation software program. Attendees enjoyed the learning opportunity and also the chance to try out new and tried-and-true APH products.
APH Presentations at the Summer Institute in Des Moines, IA
In early August, Field Services Representative Kerry Isham presented four sessions at the Iowa Braille School Summer Institute in Des Moines. This workshop was attended by approximately 200 teachers, para-educators, and COMS from district schools. The topics of Kerry’s presentations included Quota Products and Literacy, Products for Individuals with CVI and Multiple Impairments, Products for Math and Science, and Products for the Core and Expanded Core Curricula.
Treasure from the Migel Library
Lende, Helga. Books about the Blind: A Bibliographical Guide to Literature Relating to the Blind. New York: American Foundation for the Blind, 1953.
Helga Lende was hired as a librarian by Robert Irwin in 1929. Originally from Norway, Lende had a basic knowledge of German, Spanish, and French, in addition to English and her native Scandinavian. Such a broad linguistic ability was essential to building the diverse collection that is now the M.C. Migel Memorial Library. Lende served as the librarian at AFB for over 35 years. During that time, she also oversaw the Publications Division of AFB. The division developed the “AFB Publications” series of 56 titles, in addition to several monographs. “Books About the Blind” is Lende’s annotated bibliography, listing 4,200 items from the Library’s collection. This item is one of over 5,000 that APH has digitized, and is available at Internet Archive at https://archive.org/details/booksaboutblindb00helg_0
Social Media Spotlight
You Can Write for APH’s Fred’s Head Blog!
Do you have a tip or idea you wish to share with individuals who are blind and visually impaired or with professionals in the field of blindness? We always appreciate receiving contributions for our blog, Fred’s Head from APH!
Fred’s Head is a "Better living blog for people who are blind and visually impaired." For some inspiration, here’s an example of a contributed article by Educational Consultant Kristie Smith about creative uses of APH’s Tactile Town.
"Like" APH at Our Facebook Page!
APH offers a number of recreational books in braille available with Quota funds. 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.
Tale of Rescue
by Michael J. Rosen: T-N2132-70 — $23.50
When a Florida family vacationing in the Appalachian Mountains becomes trapped in a blizzard, a local farm cattle dog works to rescue them. Grades 4-7
by Bertolt Brecht: T-N2064-90 — $35.50
Collection of poetry focusing on expressions of infatuation, love, and lust, by the co-creator of The Threepenny Opera. "The Actress in Exile" is a paean to Brecht’s then wife during World War II. Translated from the original German, and written between 1918 and 1955. Some Adult Content.
Sonic Wind: The Story of John Paul Stapp and How a Renegade Doctor Became the Fastest Man on Earth
by Craig Ryan: T-N2120-30 — $218.50
Documents the pivotal contributions of the late scientific visionary behind the development of seatbelts and ejection seats, outlining his dramatic experiments and battles for safety legislation that have been credited with saving millions of lives.
Fortunes of Captain Blood
by Rafael Sabatini: T-N2130-50 — $103.00
Collection of six short stories featuring Captain Peter Blood from The Chronicles of Captain Blood, a former surgeon who has become a buccaneer. Some Adult Content.
by Nevada Barr: T-N2161-60 — $175.50
Park Ranger Anna Pigeon moves to Mississippi to accept a promotion, but she begins to think she has made a big mistake when the body of a young girl is found near an overgrown country cemetery, and her attempts to find answers are met with silence, hostility, and violence. Some Adult Content.
Back-to-School Quick Tips!
Start the school year off right with some Quick Tips on helping students learn through touch!
- How to Create a Line on a Collage Graphic – Learn how to make a line on a collage graphic using crochet thread and glue.
- Geometro Student Workbook Kit – A companion to Geometro kits, this selection of materials helps illustrate basic geometry concepts.
- Tactile Graphic Image Library – The Tactile Graphic Image Library is a collection of archived, well-designed templates — available free of charge from APH — to aid with the creation of tactile graphics.
- Touch, Label, and Learn Human Skeleton – This product is a versatile tactile and visual learning tool for teaching students about the human skeleton.
- World Maps – These high-quality tactile diagrams representing countries, continents, and regions of the world!
- Tactile Graphics Line Slate – Check out this one-of-a-kind slate that helps you create raised lines for tactile graphics using various media like braille paper, vinyl, foil, and drawing film.
These are just a few of the brief, informative, APH-centric videos that focus on teaching through touch. Find more at www.aph.org/quick-tips. And, as always, feel free to email firstname.lastname@example.org with your ready-made Quick Tips or ideas!
APH Travel Calendar
September 14-16, 2017
International Preschool Seminar
October 23, 2017
Perkins Innovation Advisory Group
November 11, 2017
Product Development Association Conference
September 15, 2017
Independence Science Learning a New Direction-2017 IsLAND Conference
West Lafayette, IN
September 15-17, 2017
Kentucky Occupational Therapy Association
September 27-28, 2017
October 17-21, 2017
October 25-28, 2017
National Braille Association
October 26-28, 2017
November 15-16, 2017
November 17, 2017
Subscribe to the APH News!
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APH News Credits
Dr. Craig Meador
Dorinda Rife, Vice President, Educational Services and Product Development
Malcolm Turner, APH Website Coordinator
Thanks to the following APH staff:
- Cindy Amback, Support Specialist, Field Services
- Janie Blome, Director, Field Services
- Scott Blome, Director, Communications
- Paul Ferrara, Social Media Coordinator, Communications
- Justin Gardner, Special Collections Librarian, Resource Services
- Kerry Isham, Field Services Representative
- Anthony Jones, Art Design/Production Manager, Research
- Nancy Lacewell, Director of Government and Community Affairs, Public Affairs
- Stephanie Lancaster, Graphic Designer, Communications
- Drew Lueken, Support Specialist, Communications
- Fred Otto, Tactile Graphics Project Leader, Research
- Mary Robinson, Assistant, Field Services
- Cathy Senft-Graves, Braille Literacy and Technology Project Leader, Research
- Becky Snider, Public Relations Manager, Public Affairs
- Jane Thompson, Director, Accessible Tests and Textbooks
- Li Zhou, Core Curriculum Project Leader, Research
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
Please share this web link or any items that appear in this publication with anyone who might benefit.