APH staff are working from home due to COVID-19, but are still available to help in any way they can! Outgoing product shipments to schools and government agencies have been halted at this time. Read our blog for current updates and ways you can learn and engage during this time of social distancing.

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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 https://codejumper.com/resources.html.

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. Look here for EOT contact information.

  • 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 aph.org. 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 insights@aph.org, 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: https://archive.org/details/ajobiewebookofreadingsformatted21.

    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: resource@aph.org, 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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2020 Newsletters

  • There are few things more frustrating than having spent all your quota funds, only to learn that APH has launched a brand-new incredible product, and you have to wait until next quota season to order.  So, we’re excited to share a peek at some coming-soon products, set to launch before the end of the 2020 quota season.

    Learn what new products are in the pipeline…

  • The New Year has arrived and ushers in the availability of a new, accessible computer coding and programming tool for students who are blind or visually impaired – Code Jumper!

    What is Code Jumper?

2019 Newsletters

  • We are pleased to announce that Code Jumper, the newest tool designed to teach children who are blind or visually impaired the basics of coding, will be available for purchase in January 2020. Read Code Jumper for Sale in January 2020 at aph.org

  • Our family of quota magnifiers just welcomed another addition – Jupiter Portable Magnifier™! Jupiter’s easy-to-use, powerful HD magnification is perfect for users of all ages, whether in the classroom, at work, at home, or in the rehab setting for those experiencing vision loss.

  • We’re extremely honored to host the Lieutenant Governor of Washington, Cyrus Habib, as the keynote speaker of our 151st Annual Meeting in Louisville, KY. He will be speaking at our opening session on Thursday, October 10.

  • Ex-Officio Trustees have until 4:00 p.m. on September 30 to spend their federal quota dollars. Equip your students with learning tools and products that will enhance their chances of success in and outside of the classroom.

  • Before you throw on your flip flops and head to the beach, be sure to get the most out of your quota dollars, and rest easy during summer break knowing your items will arrive before the start of the next school year.

  • To help you get the most out of BrailleBlaster, we will release some important “how-to’s” in a series of short tutorial videos, beginning May 6. Be sure to subscribe to the APH Youtube page for release notifications. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter, and check your email for other special announcements and BrailleBlaster tidbits in the coming weeks!

  • The Braille Trail Reader is loaded with features to start students on their path to literacy by providing them with high-quality refreshable braille necessary to prepare them for for the more advanced refreshable braille displays they can expect to use later in life.

  • 3.2.1. – Blast off! The Jupiter Portable Magnifier is now available from American Printing House! Jupiter is a sleek, compact device that helps users of all ages who are visually impaired see the world in high definition.

  • We are excited to announce Code Jumper™ – the newest innovation to assist children, regardless of their level of vision, in learning computer coding and programming skills through a unique, physical system. Developed by Microsoft® and distributed by APH, this educational toy bridges the skills gap and opens up the world of coding to every student.

  • The Hall Board encourages you to nominate, or renominate, a worthy hero, and requests that you help us by widely sharing this announcement — through personal emails, listserves, newsletters, blogs, Tweets, Facebook accounts, etc.

    Thank you for participating in YOUR Hall of Fame nomination process! The nomination process will close Tuesday, April 30, 2019.

2018 Newsletters

  • Just before Thanksgiving, our museum at the American Printing House for the Blind unveiled a new, temporary exhibit featuring an international treasure of a well-known activist and icon: Helen Keller’s writing desk now holds a prominent position as you enter the museum.

    Click the button below to read the complete December 2018 newsletter.

  • The 150th Annual Meeting Celebrates 160 Years of APH! Each year for 150 years, Ex Officio Trustees of the American Printing House for the Blind have journeyed to Louisville, Kentucky for the APH Annual Meeting.

  • It’s been a long journey, and the trials of bringing the Orbit Reader 20 to market were many, but those days are behind us. Cultivating a new technology always takes time, and this project was no exception.

  • The new APH Press has now completed its second month of operations as we embark on producing new publications while continuing the legacy of AFB Press.

  • Please join us as we celebrate the 2018 Annual Meeting of APH Ex Officio Trustees and Special Guests on October 4-6, 2018, at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in beautiful downtown Louisville.

  • “Your site has been an invaluable resource for my family and myself. I am so thankful that you guys take the time to compile information for families that would be impossible to find elsewhere.” – A parent speaking of FamilyConnect

  • Great news for teachers and students! The newest version of Math Robot is now available on the iPhone. Now your students can practice math drills anywhere, anytime.

  • APH has developed a revised “Phase-Gate” New Product Development (NPD) process. This process allows stakeholders to approve or reject projects at many points through the entire development process, resulting in a more efficient model that allows more strategic input across the life of the product idea.

  • The 2018 nomination process for the Hall of Fame for Leaders and Legends of the Blindness Field will be open through April 30!

  • Thank you for your interest in the Orbit Reader 20. This refreshable braille display is the result of a partnership of the members of the Transforming Braille Group. Launched earlier this year, the Orbit Reader reduces the cost of refreshable braille, making it affordable to those who may not have been able to enjoy this technology previously.

  • Over 1,300 in-copyright items from the APH Migel Collection are now available for digital check-out from Open Library. Formerly available only in Daisy format, these items can be borrowed digitally for two weeks with a free Open Library digital library card account.

  • APH President and longtime educator, Dr. Craig Meador, along with Cecily Morrison, Microsoft Researcher and Project Leader for Code Jumper, revealed the product and discussed the partnership on the Microsoft Schools Theater stage in London at the BETT Show.