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A Message to Our Customers

Statement Regarding Availability of Orbit Reader 20:

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.

As part of our quality control process, and based on feedback of some early users, we have identified some improvements in the functionality of the Orbit Reader 20. To ensure we are delivering the best product possible, we are holding on new shipments of the Orbit Reader until these changes can be incorporated into our production process. Manufacturing of these updated devices should begin shortly, and we anticipate that Orbit Readers will available for purchase this summer.

News You Can Use

  • Partnering with local organizations is a win-win for APH employees. Last month’s eighth annual Kentucky Regional Braille Challenge afforded APH employees the opportunity to support 34 Kentucky students who rose to the Challenge to compete in contests of braille skill and ability. The students were a part of the Kentucky Regional Braille Challenge, hosted by the American Printing House for the Blind and the Kentucky School for the Blind as part of the Braille Institute of America’s National Braille Challenge.

    Participants were welcomed by mascots from the Louisville League of Mascots as they began their day of contests in spelling, reading comprehension, charts and graphs, proofreading, and speed and accuracy. Sergio Oliva, Director of National Programs at the Braille Institute, was the event’s keynote speaker. Oliva also met with students and their families, and assisted Craig Meador, APH President, and Jackie Williams, KSB Principal, in awarding medals and prizes to the contestants.

    APH employs many certified braille transcribers who were on hand for the event to proctor, score, and support the day’s activities. APH’s Janie Blome and Jane Thompson served as co-planners of the event along with staff from KSB. The event also allowed employees across departments at APH to interact with students, families, and educators at the event.

    Other activities during the day included a hands-on demonstration of the APH Graphiti, a visit from docents at the Louisville Zoo with animals and pelts, and a performance of “The Life of Louis Braille In Six Parts,” written and performed by fourth and fifth grade students at KSB.

    The Kentucky Regional Braille Challenge is indebted to our many volunteers and to our sponsors, including the Lester E. Yeager Charitable Trust, the Emma L. Snyder Charitable Foundation, and the Readers Digest Partners for Sight Foundation.

Product News

  • A mathematical manipulative that provides students with concrete models for approaching abstract algebraic concepts and procedures.

    Tactile Algebra Tiles is an accessible version of traditional algebra tiles, specifically designed for students with blindness and low vision. It includes magnetic tiles that students can manipulate on a steel board and uses tactile symbols to help students differentiate between tiles. Consistent with the traditional algebra tiles used by sighted students, Tactile Algebra Tiles allow students who are visually impaired to work together with their classmates in inclusive classrooms.

    This product can be used by students in elementary through high school for adding, subtracting, and multiplying integers, simplifying expressions, solving linear and quadratic equations, and for adding, subtracting, multiplying, and factoring polynomials. A guidebook is provided where users can find examples of using algebra tiles to solve math problems.


    • Working Board and Storage Board (1 ea.)
    • Magnetic Algebra Tiles
    • Guidebook in Large Print and in Braille

    Recommended ages: 6 years and up.

  • This colorful tactile board book with rhyming text and interactive components encourages young tactual learners to use their fingers to explore holes in a variety of sizes and locations, lift flaps, weave a cord in and out to tie a knot or bow, count the holes, and, discover that some holes aren’t what they seem! (Hint: they’re round scented stickers and textured appliques).

    Holy Moly was designed for learners up to three years of age. The multisensory and interactive components engage the child in a movement or action that is connected to the text in a meaningful way. And as children keep hands busy exploring these features, they encounter the braille text and manipulate sturdy, easy-to-turn pages.

    “The little one loved this book. The story is fun and rhythmical and the tactile illustrations are wonderful,” commented one of our field testers. Engage a young child today in the fun of reading and experience the adventure of finding something new to touch and do on each page. Holy Moly, this could be fun!

    Recommended ages: up to 3 years.


  • These large print/braille flashcards can be used for reading practice or an informal assessment of a student’s ability to read words in contracted braille and spell words in uncontracted braille. Words are shown in contracted braille on one side and uncontracted braille on the other, with large print on both sides. Picture word cards contain a picture corresponding to the word.


    • 315 sight vocabulary words
    • 95 words with pictures
    • 75 blank cards
    • 54 indexing cards with tabs
    • storage box

    Recommended ages: 5 years and up

  • These large print/braille flashcards are for practicing the Literacy Braille contractions. Includes 282 cards, 78 blank cards, 30 indexing cards with tabs, and a storage box.


    • Alphabet and numbers
    • Punctuation and composition signs
    • One-cell whole-word and part-word signs
    • Two-cell contractions
    • Short-form words

    Recommended ages: 6 years and up.

APH On the Road and Travel Calendar

  • Conferences

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

    May 8, 2018
    Perkins Innovation Advisory Group
    Watertown, MA

    CIP Event

    March 8, 2018
    SFSU Lab Day
    San Francisco, CA


    March 2-3, 2018
    Texas Focus Conference
    Austin, TX

    March 5-9, 2018
    London, England

    March 6-9, 2018
    Lexington, KY

    March 14, 2018
    Focus on Vision Impairment & Blindness 2018
    Norwood, MA

    March 21-23, 2018
    CSUN 2018
    San Diego, CA

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

    April 12-15, 2018
    Los Angeles, CA

    April 13-14, 2018
    Perkins Hacks
    Watertown, MA

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

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. Note: all books are produced upon receipt of orders, therefore, please allow several weeks for delivery.

  • by Mary Pope Osborne: T-N1982-60 — $26.00
    Annie and Jack set off in their next adventure to find the third item needed to help Teddy fix his wayward spell. The magic tree house whisks them back in time — first to Washington, D.C., then to Indiana — as they search for Abe Lincoln. Part of the Magic Tree House series. Grades 2-4. *(AR Quiz No. 148462, BL 3.5 Pts 2.0)

  • by Victoria Forester: T-N1963-20 — $93.00
    When homeschooled farm girl Piper McCloud reveals that she can jump into the air and fly, officials whisk her away to a top-secret government institute for exceptional children. But Piper learns that the school is full of danger and longs to escape. Grades 5-8. *(AR Quiz No. 122797, BL 6.0 Pts 11.0)

  • by Trevor Cox: T-N2051-00 — $181.50
    With forays into archaeology, neuroscience, biology, and design, Cox explains how sound is made and altered by the environment, how our body reacts to peculiar noises, and how these mysterious wonders illuminate sound’s surprising dynamics in everyday settings, from your bedroom to the opera house.

  • by Amanda Cross: T-N1985-30 — $86.00
    Winifred Ashby, the honorary niece of noted British author Charlotte Stanton, mysteriously disappears after agreeing to be interviewed for Charlotte’s biography. The biographer hires professor and sleuth Kate Fansler to try to locate Winifred. Some adult content.

  • by John Sanford: T-N1963-10 — $124.50
    Tired of small-town life, teens Becky, Jimmy, and Tom attempt to steal some diamonds — and shoot a woman during the robbery. They continue their violent murder spree through rural Minnesota, with investigator Virgil Flowers and local cops in pursuit. Some adult content.


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