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2019 Hall of Fame Nominations are Now Being Accepted

Our Mission:
The Hall of Fame for Leaders and Legends of the Blindness Field is dedicated to preserving, honoring, and promoting the tradition of excellence manifested by the specific individuals inducted into the Hall of Fame and through the history of outstanding services provided to people who are blind or visually impaired.

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.

Who should be the next inductees in to the Hall of Fame for the Blindness Field?

If you are interested in learning more about how to join the 62 current inductees, here is the electronic process for submitting a nominee.

What are the criteria?

  • Persons who have made significant contributions to improve the lives of those who are blind or visually 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 comprehensive nomination packet including a thoroughly completed 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).

Visit the Hall Of Fame website and learn more about the Hall and those honored there, including 2018 inductees: Susan Jay Spungin and Frank H. Hall. To be inspired by their achievements, please visit their Hall biography pages.

Questions? Contact:
Micheal Hudson, Curator, Hall of Fame,
Bob Brasher, Co-Curator,

The Voluntary Hall of Fame Governing Board

Frances Mary D’Andrea
Jim Deremeik
Micheal Hudson
Marjorie Kaiser
BJ LeJeune
Rosanne Silberman, Chair
Ann Wadsworth
William Wiener
George Zimmerman
Greg Goodrich, Past Chair
Janie Blome, Ex Officio Member
Bob Brasher, Ex Officio Member

Product Updates

  • O&M Trivia is a fun way to learn and reinforce orientation and mobility knowledge for people of all ages! Utilizing virtual assistant platforms, such as Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa, allows for easy access to this game in the home, the classroom, or on the go!

    Cardinal directions, cane techniques, and landmarks are just a few of the topics covered within the game. Users can play alone, or with up to three additional players. Scores are calculated automatically for friendly competition. Game settings also allow users to select appropriate difficulty levels.

    For Google Assistant users, invoke the game by saying: “Ok Google, talk to Orientation and Mobility Trivia.”

    For Amazon Alexa users, invoke the game by saying: “Alexa, open O M Trivia.”

    Note: Amazon does not allow the word “and” to be used when invoking a skill. Skill will need to be enabled on Amazon account.

  • Designed for K-12 students, the Adapted Science Materials Kit includes many items originally devised by educators at the Lawrence Hall of Science in Berkeley, California, and enables students with visual impairments to participate in science lessons and experiments alongside their sighted peers.

  • Under the Sea is the next addition to APH’s Paint by Number Safari Series. Students will enjoy perfecting their art skills as they learn about the colors and creatures found under the sea. Custom-made drawings of life-like sea creatures are printed and embossed on heavy paper, making this coloring series fun for beginning and intermediate artists!

    Wide, solid, embossed lines identify the sea creature, while thin embossed lines denote color separation on the creatures’ body. Dashed lines identify background images, and solid, raised areas identify parts of the images that are too small to fill with color. Each image includes fun facts about that creature’s life, including size, diet, predators, and environment, along with specific color code for that creature.

  • Illinois Braille Series now teaches Unified English Braille (UEB) code! The Illinois Braille Series, a classic program for teaching literary braille to former print readers, now teaches UEB code, and is also now a two-volume set instead of three.

    Designed to introduce braille code to adult individuals transitioning from print to braille literacy, the Illinois Braille Series continues to include raised print letters, braille, tracking guidelines, practice activities, writing drills, and an interesting variety of reading selections. The two-volume set progresses from uncontracted to contracted braille.

    Note: Instructors will need to purchase the print version (7-17230-01) separately.

    Illinois Braille Series, Book II, Contracted Braille (5-17240-02) and its printed instructor’s book (7-17240-01), will be available for order soon – stay tuned to APH News for forthcoming details. Note: Book II now combines lessons from both books II and III from the previous series.

  • APH released new versions of Nearby Explorer for both iOS and Android in December. To read about the new features, visit for the iOS version, or for the Android version.

  • 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:

    • Time for Art
    • Functional Skills Assessment
    • Word Playhouse


  • Load up a world of savings on selected APH products with APH’s Winter Wonderland Sale 2019, January 1—March 31. As always, first come, first served.

  • APH is sponsoring a preconference workshop for CEC’s Division of Visual Impairment and Deafblindness. Two half-day workshops will be offered for one registration fee.

    Special CEC DVIDB Pre-Convention Workshops
    January 29, 2019
    9:00 am to 4:00 pm

    Indianapolis Convention Center (100 S. Capital Avenue, Indianapolis, IN)

    DVIDB Member Price: $50, Non-members: $75

    This full day program will include:

    • Child-Guided Strategies: The van Dijk Approach and AssessmentPresented by Dr. Catherine Nelson, author and collaborator with the late Dr. Jan van Dkjk will present their book on following the child’s lead for assessment.
    • Teaching Concepts to Children with Visual Impairments and Deafblindness Using the BEST Elements of DancePresented by Dr. Catherine Nelson, Kristen Paul, Pamela Gerber Handman and Brooke Barnhill will lead an interactive session on dance as an approach for body, energy, self-regulation and space (BEST) for individuals with complex and sensory disabilities.

    Professional Development Units and light refreshments provided. Registration fee includes both programs noted above.

  • APH representatives will be at the following conferences this month:

    January 8-11, 2019
    Consumer Electronics Show
    Las Vegas, NV

    January 29-Febrary 2
    Orlando, FL

    January 29-Febrary 2
    Indianapolis, IN

    January 30-February 1
    New Mexico AER
    Albuqerque, NM

STEM Corner

Early and Engaging STEM Education Prepares Kids Best for the Future!

Although estimated at six percent of all US employment, the number of STEM-oriented jobs will increase, and the US needs qualified members of the workforce to fill these new openings. Early, elementary level STEM education not only prepares students for everyday life, but also piques student interest in STEM careers. Research has shown that active learning is the best strategy for teaching STEM to all students, regardless of their vision, be it typical or impaired. Here are some ideas to make science more accessible for all students:

  • Blend other subjects into STEM
    • Make STEAM by adding “Art” to STEM lessons
  • Encourage hands-on learning
    • Make and test models, perform experiments
  • Keep STEM lessons relevant
    • Task students to solve real world problems
  • Understand technology
    • The practical use of science to solve problems

Treasures from the APH Libraries

  • Septinelli, Antoinette C. Recreation for the Blind: What It Means and Why It Means So Much in the Lives of the Sightless. Los Angeles: Braille Institute of America, 1947.

    In 1945, The Braille Institute of America undertook a monumental recreation program for people who were visually impaired. More than twenty-five classes spanned subjects as diverse as sculpture, zoology, cooking, and leatherwork. Instructors, many of whom were visually impaired, were chosen from prominent leaders in arts, sciences, and vocational training. By the program’s second season in 1946, 440 participants had been accepted, with a waiting list of 800 more. The institute coordinated not only these students and instructors, but an additional 85 volunteer assistants and 76 volunteer drivers.

    Originally intended as an appeal for donations, this pamphlet goes on to explain The Institute’s goals for expansion. It was an urgent request, considering the number of visually impaired veterans who would need vocational training. Closing with testimonials and a guide to modern attitudes towards visual impairment, this work is a unique look at the origins of the organization’s programming that continues 70 years later.

    Recreation for the Blind has been digitized for Internet Archive.

  • Leonard-Barton, D., Swap, W. C., Barton, G. B., & Harvard Business Press. Critical Knowledge Transfer: Tools for Managing Your Company’s Deep Smarts. Boston: Harvard Business Review Press, 2015.

    The newest acquisition into the Barr Library, Critical Knowledge Transfer: Tools for Managing Your Company’s Deep Smarts, addresses the vital issue of knowledge management within an organization. Recognizing that employee knowledge is an organization’s greatest asset, the authors’ provide a variety of techniques for identifying an organization’s “deep smarts” and disseminating that knowledge from knowledge experts to fellow employees in an attempt to knock down knowledge silos. According to the authors’, deep smarts are forms of individual know-how based on first-hand experience and tacit knowledge that evolves over time and is shaped by individual practices, interactions, and experiences. Deep smarts are not only knowing what to do, but also knowing why or why not to do something; they are as much about understanding as about knowing.

    The authors’ contend that whether individually held in one’s head, contained across different teams and applications, or across a variety of content, organization must identify where critical, experience-based knowledge resides and make it accessible to not only minimize disruption from retirements, promotions and transfers, but also empower employees by reducing learning curves and sharing hidden tacit knowledge vital to one’s success. The authors note, that for an organization, its critical strategy advantage lies in the management of knowledge, whereby structures and practices to pass along knowledge from experts to colleagues, understanding the network of knowledge within organizations, and the accessibility of documented knowledge and the even more valuable often undocumented experience-based knowledge, is cultural.

    The APH Barr Library supports research initiatives at APH, while the Migel Collection is one of the largest collections of nonmedical information related to visual impairment in the world. Although the collections do not circulate, an ongoing digitization effort means APH will make materials available online at 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.