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  • Annual Meeting 2023 Wrap Up

    NFB President Mark Riccobono speaks into a microphone from behind a clear glass podium. The APH logo is projected behind him.

    This October, APH hosted the Annual Meeting of APH Ex Officio Trustees (EOTs) with attendees from across the field. We were excited to welcome everyone back to our hometown of Louisville, Kentucky to focus on innovation, while learning and connecting with others. Read the Annual Meeting blog to find out more about some of the highlights.

    Bruce Sexton Joins APH Team as Director of Access and Belonging

    Professional headshot of Bruce Sexton. Text: “Welcome to the Team! Bruce Sexton Director of Access and Belonging” APH logo.

    APH is excited to welcome Bruce Sexton as the Director of Access and Belonging. Read Bruce’s blog to learn more about him and his new position.

    The Dot Experience Update

    This image brings you a not-quite-finished look at the interactive area of the lobby. Here, experiences are focused on the power of touch, the power of braille, and the power of people. Visitors can interact with a durable version of Tactile Town, an oversized abacus, real braillewriters from the collection, the 30-inch globe and its production plates, and a variety of tactile graphics. Visitors will also meet a few of the individuals from our “cast” who embody qualities and values of Access Warriors, Barrier Breakers, Dream Believers, and Change Makers.

    The mission of The Dot Experience is: “To change perspectives about blindness, spur insight and action that welcomes everyone, and lead as a model museum of inclusivity and accessibility.”

    First, we are working to change perspectives about blindness. Our goal is to create a more open-minded society and inclusive world through authentic first-person stories of blindness and lived experiences. We want to arm visitors with the insight and interest to make change happen in the world.

    Second, we are working to design a museum as a global model of inclusion and equality, influencing the universal design of other public and private spaces and workplaces. We aim to do this through the unprecedented and disciplined implementation of a comprehensive set of inclusive design standards.

    Third, we are working to elevate disability as an essential part of the DEIA conversation, focusing heavily on the I and the A. Our desire is to make Louisville a mecca of accessibility conversation that builds on APH’s 165 years of work as an educator, champion, and innovator in this sector.

    Welcome New EOT’s

    EOTs play an integral role in making sure APH products get into the hands of the students who need them. We’re excited to welcome the following new EOTs to the APH family:

    • Eric Mazariegos – California
    • Alan Nunn – Alabama


    New Products header.

    Alphabet Scramble, UEB Edition

     Colorful graphic book cover of Alphabet Scramble composed of letters drawn in crayon. Yellow and red rectangles border a white square in the middle of the image that reads, "Alphabet Scramble."

    Modernized to incorporate UEB, this read-aloud storybook exposes young learners to braille and large print and encourages development of early literacy skills.

    APH Fall Harvest Sale 2023

    Visit our website to see which APH products are on sale while supplies last. Happy shopping!


    Get Involved header

    Envision Kit Customer Satisfaction Survey

    The Envision Training Program is back and better than ever with combined, easy-to-use instruction for magnifiers and telescopes, updated lessons, activity cards for distance and near reading tasks, and updated optical aids. The enhancements to this kit provide a curriculum for all ages to enjoy, as well as an optical device from a low vision clinician.

    Please provide your feedback on the recently released products: Envision Kit with Optical Aids and Envision Kit without Optical Aids.

    Take the Envision Kit Customer Satisfaction Survey.


    Scan and Read Needs Survey

    If interested, please take a needs survey about a scan and read device for the classroom! Help provide feedback on the need for a scan and read Optical Character Recognition (OCR) camera that can read educational materials aloud with quick and accurate OCR.

    Take the Scan and Read Needs Survey.


    Call for Field Testers: My Eyes My Vision

    My Eyes My Vision provides a framework to build the basic concepts of the anatomy of the eye, how the visual system works, and the breakdowns in the system that lead to a visual impairment. Participants in this program will develop the communication skills necessary to raise awareness about having an eye condition and build the confidence to communicate visual needs among instructors, peers, family, medical professionals, and the general public. The materials are designed for K-12 students of all abilities and stages of vision loss, and are inclusive to sighted, low vision, and blind populations.

    Field test evaluators will be asked to use the prototypes directly with their students who are blind or have low vision. Evaluators will then complete an online product evaluation form at the end of the testing period. Field test sites will be selected based on geographic location, available number of students, and type of instructional setting. The number of available field test prototypes is limited.

    If you are interested in field testing this product during the Spring 2024 school year, please fill out the following My Eyes My Vision Field Test Interest Form with your contact information by December 1, 2023. Field testing will begin in March 2024. Completed field evaluation forms will be due by May 30, 2024.

    You may also contact Justine Taylor, Product Manager, at if you have related questions about this field test activity.

    Lights, Camera, Description

    The American Council of the Blind’s Audio Description Project (ADP) and the Described and Captioned Media Program (DCMP) are now accepting entries for BADIE—Benefits of Audio Description in Education, an essay contest for young people (ages 7 to 21) who are blind or have low vision. It’s a great chance for students to engage with accessible learning materials, unleash their inner film critic, and compete for fun prizes.

    Learn more about BADIE.


    Educational Corner header

    Introducing Braille Brain!

    The Braille Brain logo features a multicolored brain stacked above the words “Braille Brain” in all caps. “Braille” is stacked above “Brain,” with both words sharing and beginning with a large B that is as tall as both words stacked. The brain is divided into four sections. The Occipital lobe is red. The Parietal lobe is yellow. The Frontal lobe is blue, and the Temporal lobe is purple.

    We’re so excited to introduce Braille Brain. This free, website-based curriculum is here to help people who already have literacy skills, such as: parents, paraeducators, students in university level TVI programs, and those who lose sight later in life, learn braille at their own pace. Read our Braille Brain blog to learn more.

    A Student’s Experience Winning a Polly

    A young boy with glasses and light-colored hair smiles as he poses for a photo.
    In July, fourth grader Russell Dorn won a Polly from an access technology raffle at the NFB convention. Read Russell’s blog to learn more about his experience with this braille learning tool.

    Product Hack for the Talking Glow Dice and Cranmer Abacus

    During math class, APH Scholar, Jeanne Neu, uses the Talking Glow Dice, which announces the number rolled and displays it in bright blue LEDs. “One of the ways I incorporate this into lessons is to have a student roll the Glow Dice and then set that number on a  Cranmer Abacus,” Jeanne said. “Next, we move on to using the Glow Dice and the abacus to add practice addition. I also use the Glow Dice to practice ‘greater’ and ‘less’ by taking turns rolling the Glow Dice and having the student say who had the greatest number.”

    If you have a product hack or idea to share with your colleagues in the blindness field, email, and we will feature it in our next newsletter.


    APH ConnectCenter header: Connecting people with useful information and resources

    Make Meaningful Connections Over the Holidays Using APH ConnectCenter Resources

    The coming months are full of opportunities to connect with loved ones. Perhaps you’ll host a child’s college friend, a newly blind family member, or a family’s child who is blind or low vision. We feature blogs, tips, and resources to help include everyone at your gathering.

    Including Loved Ones in the Kitchen

    Building Relationships

    Providing Emotional Support

    Gift Giving

    Join us for our two-part gift-giving webinar: Experiential Gift Giving: Digital, Music, Fashion, and More on November 14th, and Experiential Gift Giving: Hobbies, Sports, and More on November 15th.

    For information or referrals, call the APH ConnectCenter I&R Line toll-free: (800) 232-5463 Monday through Friday 8 AM – 8 PM Eastern, or e-mail Additionally, subscribe to the APH ConnectCenter Calendar.


    Change Makers header: An APH Podcast

    The Latest from Change Makers

    Change Makers: A Podcast from APH highlights the people who are making the biggest difference in the blindness field.

    On Episode 85: APH 2023 Annual Meeting, listen to the host talk to attendees, learn all about InSights Art, and hear from the artists. The host also speaks with award winners and a Hall of Fame Inductee.

    On Episode 86: Blindness Etiquette with Canes and Dogs, hear from two cane users and two guide dog users as they detail their experiences and share some basic etiquette tips for the general public.

    Missed one? Don’t worry! Find ALL episodes of Change Makers on our website.


    From the Field header

    OSERS for White Cane Day

    The Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) awarded grants to universities to support a record number of new scholars in the field of orientation and mobility (O&M). This high-demand profession provides important instruction and support for learners who are blind and have low vision in early childhood settings, schools, and beyond. Dr. Amy Parker and Dr. Molly Pasley participated in a blog about how universities prepare O&M scholars. Read the OSEP blog.


    In the Archive header

    A Sad Episode

    A photo of Helen Keller as a young woman. She is reclining on a chair.  

    Did you know that Helen Keller was once engaged to be married? The young man was named Peter Fagan. Read the blog A Sad Episode, written by APH Archivist Justin Gardner, to learn more.


    APH Travel Center header

    Upcoming Conferences

    APH will be at the following upcoming conferences. We hope to see you there!

    Getting In Touch with Literacy

    November 29th-December 2nd

    St. Petersburg, FL

    APH will be exhibiting and presenting at this conference.

    APH National Coding Symposium 3.0

    December 4th-6th, 2023


    The 2023 National Coding Symposium returns for its 3rd year with more opportunities to engage students and all levels of coders! Coding is fun, challenging, and accessible across platforms and skill levels. Through a series of inspirational speakers, panel discussions, presentations, and Q and A sessions, this symposium will inspire elementary, middle, high school, and college-age students to become future leaders in careers inclusive of, and related to, programming and software development; as well as provide teachers with the ideas, resources, and support they need to teach coding concepts with ease. Register for the symposium.

    For more information about upcoming appearances, check out our Conferences page.


  • Past issues of the APH News newsletter can be accessed via the links below. Note: Older issues of APH News may not meet current accessibility standards.