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Nomination Deadline Extended!

Kiosks in the Hall of Fame display plaques of the inductees

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

What are the criteria?

  • Persons who have made significant contributions to improve the lives of those who are blind or visual impaired in such areas as professional practice, research, writing, leadership, direct service, and/or in their professional organizations.

What is Required to Nominate Someone?

  • Nominators must submit a nomination packet including a nomination form and three letters of support.

Who is Eligible?

  • Persons are eligible five years after departure/retirement from positions where their significant lifetime body of work was made.
  • Individuals from North America are eligible for nomination. (North America is defined as US, Canada, Mexico, and the Caribbean).

Go here if you are interested in learning more about the easy electronic process for submitting a nominee to join the 60 current Hall of Fame inductees.

Visit the hall of fame website and learn more about the hall and those honored there.

Product Updates

  • What could be simpler than a touch? Or more meaningful for young tactual learners? As the text and tactile illustrations in this book by Carlotta Vaccari show, “just a touch” – soft, smooth, fragrant, tickling—has the power to lift the heart.

    A Touch is a colorful, texture-rich book perfect for reading aloud with a very young child. The sturdy pages are small and easy to turn, and the text is extremely brief. Heart–shaped textured pieces can be manipulated and used to stroke the child’s hands and face. And at the end of the book, as promised, the heart takes wing and lifts from the page.

    The book’s text is provided in large print and contracted Unified English Braille. The clear, silkscreened braille is of high quality and extremely durable. Originally produced in French, the English version is produced for APH by Les Doigts Qui Rêvent (LDQR) workshop in Dijon, France.

    Recommended ages: 3 years and up.

  • Snap Circuits Jr. is an entry-level product for learning about circuits, current, resistance, switches, motors, and other basic electronics concepts. Sold in stores, it is widely used in classrooms because the parts are durable, colorful, and easy to assemble into projects that light up, make sounds, and more. The Snap Circuits Jr. Access Kit, which is sold exclusively through APH, includes the commercial product, and makes it accessible to users who are blind or visually impaired by providing parts labeled in braille, along with written project instructions in braille and large print.

    The Kit gives instructions for building 101 projects. The parts include a motor with fan blade, a speaker, three integrated circuits that produce sounds, a sound-activated chip, two switches, a lamp, and numerous others to connect and combine in many ways. All the parts snap together on the building surface, called the “breadboard,” to form circuits with a perceptible result.

    The Snap Circuits Jr. Access Pack is offered for customers who already own the Snap Circuits Jr. commercial kit; it contains only the accessible instructions and braille labels for the customer to apply to the parts and storage tray.

    Aligns with Next Generation Science Standards 4-PS3-1 through 4-PS3-4 and others related to Energy.

    Recommended ages: 8 years and up.

  • Get the manual you need instantly! APH offers a selected list of product manuals available for free download. 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:

    • ColorStar
    • Snap Circuits Jr Project Instructions
  • APH Introduces PermaBraille™ for the Production of Tactile Graphic Products, Textbooks, and Test Materials

    APH is pleased to introduce a new vinyl material that will make a positive difference in your students’ learning experiences with tactile graphics. APH plans to incorporate the use of PermaBraille, a durable vinyl material, into our tactile products, textbooks, and tests in lieu of other materials on the market. In anticipation of this transition, APH is sharing some common questions and answers about the unique features and applications of this vinyl material.

    What color is PermaBraille?
    PermaBraille is white and provides an updated, modern look that integrates well with standard paper.

    What is the texture of the PermaBraille?
    PermaBraille has a very smooth, paper-like quality that is easy on tactile readers’ fingers during braille reading and graphic exploration.

    Is PermaBraille durable for repeated use?
    PermaBraille is notably tough and resistant to tearing. The tactile integrity of formed braille and graphic elements remain intact throughout multiple uses.

    How thick is PermaBraille?
    The thickness of PermaBraille is 5 mil.

    Is PermaBraille safe to use with students?
    PermaBraille is a nontoxic, latex-free, and moisture-proof vinyl material that is safe for classroom use.

    Can PermaBraille be used in combination with a table-top thermoform machine?
    PermaBraille was successfully tested with tabletop thermoform machines using a variety of tactile masters (e.g., collage, UV-printed diagrams, aluminum foil). Ideal temperature and cycle settings should be tested and adjusted on a specific machine to ensure expected braille and tactile results before multiple copies are thermoformed.

    Can PermaBraille be used with a slate and stylus?
    A slate and stylus is an appropriate means to add braille text/labels to PermaBraille. The thinness of PermaBraille contributes to an effortless tooling experience, requiring very little hand strength.

    Can PermaBraille be used with tactile drawing tools (e.g., serrated spur wheels, point symbol tongs)?
    PermaBraille accepts tactile elements and braille labels tooled via cold-forming methods. Always tool from the reverse side of a sheet to transfer needed tactile lines and point symbols to the upright side of a tactile graphic.

    Can a student or teacher mark on PermaBraille sheets?
    If a student should need to mark on a graphic formed with PermaBraille, or if the teacher would like to add print text next to braille labels, it is best to use a smear-resistant drawing or writing tool (e.g., permanent marker, crayon).

    What sheet sizes and styles of PermaBraille are available for APH customers to purchase?
    PermaBraille is custom-cut for APH using conventional braille sheet dimensions (11.5 x 11-in.) in both unpunched and 19-hole punched versions, as well as 8.5 x 11-inch sheets offered in 50-sheet packages. APH plans to provide this material in bulk packaging styles (500 sheets per box) that are convenient and suitable for vendors or individuals who mass-produce tactile graphics via table-top-thermoform processes.

    Within which types of APH products will teachers and students likely encounter tactile graphics using PermaBraille?
    Tactile graphics formed using PermaBraille will become more commonplace and may be encountered in various APH products, including future Building on Patterns editions, as well as transcribed textbooks and tests.

    What is the cost of PermaBraille?
    APH strives to keep the cost per sheet of PermaBraille competitive with other similar commercially available options used for the same end use. Because PermaBraille sheets are custom designed and packaged for APH customers, packages will be available for purchase with Quota funds.

    What do braille readers say about PermaBraille?

    • “pleasant to the touch”
    • “not clingy”
    • “feels more like paper”
    • “doesn’t tear easily”
    • “easy to read for longer periods of time”
    • “hands slide/glide across paper in a smooth motion”
    • “feels nice and crisp”
    • “(produces) nice sharp braille”
    • “great texture and closer (in feel) to embossed paper”

    APH wants to know what you and your students think as well. Please keep APH informed about your first-hand experiences with tactile graphics produced with PermaBraille by sending your thoughts and feedback to Karen Poppe (

    PermaBraille should be available to order by late May/early June. More information about this new and exciting vinyl material will be available in future issues of APH News.


  • We invite you to share your story about the impact of APH products on your life and celebrate your personal successes! Students and adults who are blind or visually impaired*, as well as professionals in the field are encouraged to enter. Cash prizes will be awarded in each category:

    First Place — $500
    Second Place — $250
    Third Place — $100

    First Place winners in each category will also be invited to travel to Louisville, Kentucky, to read their entries at the APH 160th Anniversary National Writing Contest Awards Ceremony, to be held in October 2018! APH will cover travel and hotel expenses, as well as APH Annual Meeting registration fees, for each first place winner and one guest.

    The deadline for all entries are June 1, 2018. For additional information on writing topics, rules, eligibility, and evaluation criteria, please visit the contest website. Questions? Contact Nancy Lacewell at or 502-899-2339, or Lauren Hicks at or 502-895-2405.

    *For the purposes of this contest, visual impairment is defined as corrected visual acuity of 20/200 or less in the better eye, or a visual field limited to 20 degrees or less. This includes those who function at the federal definition of blindness (FDB), described above, due to brain injury or dysfunction.

  • Presentations/Exhibits

    April 6-7, 2018
    Iowa IESBVI Spring Family Conference
    Vinton, IA

    April 12-15, 2018
    Los Angeles, CA

    April 23-24, 2018
    Charting the Cs: Cross Categorical Conference
    Alexandria, MN

    June 21-23, 2018
    Visions 2018
    San Diego, CA


    April 4-7, 2018
    AFB Leadership Conference
    Oakland, CA

    April 9-11, 2018
    BANA Spring 2018 Board Meeting
    Los Angeles, CA

    April 13-14, 2018
    Perkins Hacks
    Watertown, MA

    May 8, 2018
    Perkins Innovation Advisory Group
    Watertown, MA

    June 11-13, 2018
    M-Enabling Summit
    Arlington, VA

    June 20-23, 2018
    Anaheim, CA

    June 27-29, 2018
    CCSSO/NCSA Conference 2018
    San Diego, CA

    CIP Events

    April 19, 2018
    Kutztown University CIP Event
    Kutztown University, PA

    June 30-July 1, 2018
    Portland State University Presentations
    Portland, OR

STEM Corner

APH is updating the 2006 publication Adapting Science for Students With Visual Impairments!

Do you have tips for teaching any and all aspects of STEM education to students with visual impairments? Content areas include biology, chemistry, physics, Earth science, astronomy, and math.

If you do, please share them with us, and we will consider incorporating them into the revised edition of this handbook.

Please email comments and suggestions to Rosanne Hoffmann at

New on the APH Physical Education Website

Spring into action with two new Features!

Beep: Inside the Unseen World of Baseball for the Blind, by David Wanczyk, is the first book published about this remarkable sport.

Including Young Athletes with Visual Impairment in Track & Field is the third in a series of videos designed to help coaches, sports assistants, and parents with teaching strategies, modifications, and equipment adaptations.

Treasure From the Migel Library

Lowenfeld, Berthold. Teachers of the Blind, Their Status and Salaries. American Foundation for the Blind, 1941.

This 1941 report found that teachers at schools for the blind had the same professional training as public school teachers, but their salaries were far lower. Additionally, teachers of the visually impaired had less professional experience than public school teachers. Researchers speculated that low salaries combined with the challenging workloads forced them to leave the field of visual impairment early in their careers. This copy of “Teachers of the Blind” was signed by the author, Hall of Fame inductee Berthold Lowenfeld. Dr. Lowenfeld inscribed the book to fellow Hall of Fame Inductee M.C. Migel, for whom the library collection would be named 23 years later. “Teachers of the Blind…” has been digitized for the Internet Archive.

APH Braille Book Corner

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.

  • By: Sarah J. Mass

    T-N2119-40 – $261.00

    Everyone Celaena Sardothien loves has been taken from her. But she’s at last returned to the empire — for vengeance, to rescue her once-glorious kingdom, and to confront the shadows of her past. She has embraced her identity as Aelin Galathynius, Queen of Terrasen. But before she can reclaim her throne, she must fight. She will fight for her cousin, a warrior prepared to die just to see her again. She will fight for her friend, a young man trapped in an unspeakable prison. And she will fight for her people, enslaved to a brutal king and awaiting their lost queen’s triumphant return. Grades 9-12. *(AR Quiz No. 177231, BL 6.0, Pts: 29.0)

  • By: Christopher Paolini

    T-N2120-90 – $368.00

    The further adventures of Eragon and his dragon, Saphira, as they continue to aid the Varden in the struggle against evil king Galbatorix. Sequel to Eldest. Grades 9-12. *(AR Quiz No. 125940, BL 7.8 Pts: 45.0)

  • By: Nora Roberts

    T-N2168-50 – $146.50

    Connecticut wedding planner Parker Brown falls in love with her brother’s irksome friend, mechanic Malcolm Kavanaugh. Malcolm wonders whether they could possibly be good for each other, but Parker wants the man she loves.

  • By: Joseph Dean Klatt

    T-N2061-50 – $326.00

    Autobiography of Joseph Dean Klatt and the challenges he faced when he lost his eyesight in a tragic car accident at the age of nineteen. Discusses his determination to achieve independence, his academic years, his seven Seeing Eye dogs, and his personal life.

  • By: Amy Rowland

    T-N2073-60 – $77.00

    In a forgotten room on the eleventh floor of the Record newspaper, transcriptionist Lena does her work in obscurity. One day, she discovers the picture of a blind woman she’d met days before–dead of mauling by lions. As Lena searches for answers, she questions her work.