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APH News

March 2020

Praying Mantis sitting on Mantis keyboard

Introducing the Mantis Q40: A First-of-Its Kind Bluetooth ® Keyboard and Refreshable Braille Display

Be one of the first to get your hands on this revolutionary new product developed by APH and HumanWare! Consisting of a full-size QWERTY keyboard and a built-in, 40-cell refreshable braille display; the Mantis ensures that students and professionals don’t have to sacrifice the use of braille when typing on a keyboard. Learn more about the Mantis Q40 and subscribe to the waiting list.

Code Jumper Photo

Connecting with Code Jumper

By now, the first of the Code Jumper kits are arriving in classrooms around the country, and the world! As students get hands-on with the colorful pods, easy-to-turn knobs, and hilarious sound sets for building songs and stories, we want to encourage you to share! Code Jumper is meant to be used collaboratively; so we want to build a global community of users sharing their Code Jumper journeys. Post pictures or video of you and your students “jumping code” and tag us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram! Here are some fun hashtags to get you started:


Already Code Jumping? Be sure to access the User Guide, Curriculum, Assessments, and more at

New Products

  • Access Technology for Blind and Low Vision Accessibility Book

    Access Technology for Blind and Low Vision Accessibility emphasizes opportunities for independence, leadership, and timely access to information for people who are blind or visually impaired.

  • Photo of someone using Quick Pick

    This fun and challenging flash card game teaches UEB braille contractions, and can be played at school, at home, or in the car.

  • Azer's Table Study Kit and student
    Jason Earl learns from Samir Azer’s Interactive Periodic Table Study Set

    Now includes updated atomic abbreviations for elements 112-118! This interactive periodic table study set is designed to make learning about the Periodic Table of Elements accessible to students with visual impairments and blindness.

  • Photo of WRAT-5 Teacher and Student Response Booklets

    WRAT5, developed by Gary S. Wilkinson, PhD, Gary J. Robertson, PhD with NCS Pearson, Inc., is adapted for braille and large print readers, and is an easy-to-administer way to quickly and efficiently assess the achievement level of a student, ages 5 and up, in reading skills, math skills, spelling, and comprehension with the WRAT5.

Discontinued APH Products

As we work to streamline our product offerings, we are removing some products that are outdated in an effort to relieve capacity and backorder hardships as a result too many product selections. Stay tuned to your email for a list of impacted products.

  • It’s that time of year again – time to prepare for the 2020-2021 academic year. Do you have the braille paper and large print, braille, and digital textbooks you need? When placing your textbook order, be sure to include the book title, edition, authors, publisher, copyright date, and international standard book number (ISBN). With this information in hand, contact your Ex Officio Trustee (EOT) to see if these are available with your Federal Quota dollars.

  • Due to a supply chain issue that we have been unable to resolve, APH will no longer be selling TI30 or TI84 talking calculators. Texas Instruments updated its calculator models, which means our adaptations are no longer compatible. We were expecting a shipment of calculators that were produced before the Texas Instruments update, but have been unable to secure the units. We know the calculators are important for the classroom and testing. We are working to find a replacement, but there is no immediate solution in sight.

  • For years, APH used a blog, Freds Head, to share information with customers and followers. When we launched our new website last year, we transitioned popular blogs to To access blogs, scroll to the footer of the website and click the “articles” button.

  • “I am confident, by working together and with others, we can create new products and services that create a world with opportunity for everyone,” said Phoebe Wood. Learn more about Phoebe and other changes to the Board of Trustees.

The Wolf Sculpture

Reminder: InSights Art Submissions Due March 27

Artwork entries for the 2020 season are due at APH by March 27.  All artists who are blind or visually impaired are invited to submit artwork for this year’s competition.  Download the 2020 InSights Art Entry Form for instructions, rules, and forms.  Every year, we’re pleased to receive such wonderful, creative pieces from talented artists, and we’re looking forward to sharing this year’s amazing artwork.  For questions about the competition, contact us at, or 1-800-223-1839, ext. 242.

  • Summer is a great time to get some fresh air and spend time with friends. In order to make sure that outdoor activities are accessible for students and adults who are blind and visually impaired, many states offer summer camps.

  • Ask a Spaceman! podcast, is hosted by Paul M. Sutter, astrophysicist at Stony Brook University, and is endorsed by Louis Maher, Secretary of the Texas chapter of the NFB. There is even an episode (AAS! 46) titled “How to describe astronomy to the blind.” From string theory, black holes, dark energy, and even considering what would happen if our own moon disappeared, Dr. Sutter covers it all in his characteristically engaging way – check out his website and YouTube videos.

  • From the Migel Library: Usman, K. O. Achieving Sustainable Development in Nigeria through Innovation, Creativity, and Entrepreneurial Education: A Book of Readings in Honour of Dr. Theophilus Adebose Ajobiewe. Federal College of Education (Special), Oyo, 2020.

    In order to widen access and exposure to African-Authored books on visual impairment, the editors and authors of Achieving Sustainable Development in Nigeria have decided to partner with the Migel Library to digitize their book at Internet Archive.  The work’s 80 articles provide Nigerian viewpoints on braille code, education, library services, sustainability, and numerous other topics.  Thanks to all those involved for making this resource freely available at:

    New Migel Acquisitions:

    Ferguson, Ronald J. The Blind Need Not Apply: A History of Overcoming Prejudice in the Orientation and Mobility Profession. IAP, 2007.

    Gaventa, William C., et al. Jewish Perspectives on Theology and the Human Experience of Disability. Routledge, 2006.

    Hammer, Gili, and Georgina Kleege. Blindness through the Looking Glass: The Performance of Blindness, Gender, and the Sensory Body. University of Michigan Press, 2019.

    Kinash, Shelley. Seeing beyond Blindness. IAP-Information Age Pub., 2006.

    Kleege, Georgina. More than Meets the Eye What Blindness Brings to Art. Oxford University Press, 2018.

    Larrissy, Edward. The Blind and Blindness in Literature of the Romantic Period. Edinburgh University Press, 2007.

    Nye, Michael. My Heart Is Not Blind: On Blindness and Perception. Trinity University Press, 2019.

    Romero-Fresco, Pablo. Accessible Filmmaking: Integrating Translation and Accessibility into the Filmmaking Process. Routledge, Taylor & Francis Group, 2019.

    Tilley, Heather. Blindness and Writing: From Wordsworth to Gissing. Cambridge University Press, 2019.

    The APH Migel Collection is one of the largest collections of non-medical information related to visual impairment in the world. Although the collection does not circulate, an ongoing digitization effort means APH will make materials available online. The digitized texts are available in a variety of accessible formats, including DAISY, Kindle, EPUB, PDF, and read-aloud. Contact Library staff:, 800-223-1839, ext. 705.

  • We are gathering information on braille instruction within early childhood. Please take a few moments to complete this short survey on braille instruction with children between the ages of 3-5. Additional comments are welcome at the end of the survey. Thank you for all you do for our community.

APH Travel Center

Anaheim, CA
March 9-13, 2020

AOTA Annual Conference and Expo
Boston, MA
March 26-29, 2020

AFB Leadership
Arlington, VA
March 26-27, 2020

Los Angeles, CA
April 16-19, 2020

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