APH Press Release
American Printing House for the Blind event, Learning without Limits, brings Special Exhibit and Assistive Technology Demonstrations to Rayburn Office Building, three days only
Informative and Inspirational program focuses on how educational opportunities for students who are blind have changed since Helen Keller’s time
Louisville, Kentucky, June 5, 2015 – The American Printing House for the Blind (APH) is pleased to present Learning Without Limits, A celebration of educational opportunities for people with vision loss – past, present, and future, June 8–10, 2015 in the Rayburn Office Building Foyer, Capitol Hill, Washington D.C. Hours are noon – 7:00 pm on June 8, 9:00 am – 7:00 pm on June 9, and 9:00 am – noon on June 10.
The celebration includes participatory exhibit, a demonstration of technology products designed for people who are blind, and an evening reception during which Senator Mitch McConnell and Congressman John Yarmuth will be honored for their continuing efforts in support of educational opportunities for people with vision loss.
- Technology demonstrations will be on-going throughout the event and include an Orion TI-84 Plus Talking Graphing Calculator, accessible apps for phones, and a “smart” brailler. Several people who have been the beneficiaries of the new opportunities available today for those with vision loss will help with the program. They include Chase Crispin, a recent high school graduate from Nebraska, who has used these technology devices in advanced classes in preparation for college and Kaytlyn Floyd, a fourth grade student from Waynesboro, Pennsylvania, whose artwork, “My Cane is My Friend” was used as an image on the award.
- The interactive exhibit, Child in a Strange Country: Helen Keller and the History of Education for People Who Are Blind or Visually Impaired, includes dozens of original artifacts. It not only explores Helen Keller’s personal story (she was born in 1880), but invites visitors to touch and try out some of the tools used to make education accessible to all from the late 1800s to the present. Visitors may write something in braille, explore tactile maps from the early 20th century.
Created by the Museum of the American Printing House for the Blind (APH), the exhibit debuted in Louisville at the end of 2012 and has since been shown in other states, including Michigan and Wisconsin.
Using Helen’s educational journey as a lens, Child in a Strange Country explores the early devices and techniques that made it possible for children with vision loss to succeed in the classroom and celebrates the ingenuity of generations of teachers and students who have been part of that accomplishment.
Child in a Strange Country uses tactile reproductions and authentic artifacts to uncover the roots of modern education for children with vision loss. The exhibit is designed to be fully accessible and explores reading, science, math, and geography. Each section includes six panels mounted with text, historic photographs, and tactile reproductions or touchable examples of real artifacts. Each concludes with a sit-down touch table with interactive games and activities which spur the sensory imagination.
Honorary hosts for the event are Senators John Boozman, Thad Cochran, Barbara A. Mikulski, Lisa Murkowski, Rand Paul, and Richard Shelby and Representatives Andy Barr, Tom Cole, Brett Guthrie, Thomas Massie, Hal Rogers, Lucille Roybal-Allard, and Ed Whitfield.
Photographs of exhibit available upon request
About Helen Keller
In 1891, teacher Anne Sullivan wrote a report about her famous young student, Helen Keller, an Alabama girl who lost her hearing and sight at an early age.
“For the first two years of her intellectual life she was like a child in a strange country,” wrote Sullivan, realizing that for her student, no learning was possible until she could overcome the communication barrier posed by blindness and deafness. Eventually, however, Keller became the first deaf-blind woman in America to earn her undergraduate degree, graduating from Radcliffe in 1904.
This was made possible by a number of educational tools developed in Europe and the United States since the late eighteenth century, beginning with Valentin Hauy’s invention of the tactile book in 1786 in Paris, France. Hauy’s book featured raised letters, and helped prove that blind people could learn to read. Louis Braille’s dot code, introduced in 1829, allowed students to both read and write.
About the Museum of the American Printing House for the Blind
The Museum, where visitors experience hands-on history, is open Monday through Saturday. It is located on the second floor of the American Printing House for the Blind, 1839 Frankfort Avenue, Louisville, Kentucky. Admission is free. Regular hours are 8:30 am to 4:30 pm, Monday-Friday and 10:00 am to 3:00 pm on Saturday. Visitors can write in braille, see a copy of Valentin Hauy’s tactile book embossed in 1786 in Paris, France, see the Book of Psalms from Helen Keller’s Bible (manufactured at APH), play a computer game designed for blind students, and much more. Helen Keller: Child in a Strange Country is one of four exhibitions available to travel. For details about how to book this exhibit, and others, visit www.aph.org/museum/programs/traveling/
About the American Printing House for the Blind
The American Printing House for the Blind, a 501(c) (3) non-profit organization, is the world’s largest company devoted solely to researching, developing, and manufacturing products for people who are blind or visually impaired. Founded in 1858, it is the oldest organization of its kind in the United States. Under the 1879 federal Act to Promote the Education of the Blind, APH is the official supplier of educational materials for visually impaired students in the U.S. who are working at less than college level.
Visit www.aph.org and https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WENRlCNDsxQ to learn more.